A Kerry TD says proposal to change direct provision is a positive step, but feels greater ambition is needed in replacing the system.
The Government has published its White Paper on Ending Direct Provision, which includes proposals to move towards own-door accommodation for asylum seekers.
Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly, who is a spokesperson on Law Reform, Equality and Integration, has given it a cautious welcome.
Deputy Pa Daly says direct provision is a shameful and cruel system, which has caused serious harm to many asylum seekers and wider communities.
The Sinn Féin TD believes it’s long overdue the system is replaced with a modern, humane system which is fit-for-purpose.
He says the White Paper contains many positive steps, including the alignment of welfare rates with existing benefits, the provision of driving licenses and an approach that should majorly reduce reliance on private operators.
However, Deputy Daly says it’s disappointing the White Paper is lacking in ambition in a number of key areas.
He believes applicants should be able to enter the labour market after three months as opposed to six, and is also disappointed the recommendation to grant five years Leave to Remain for people within the system more than 2 years, is only ‘under consideration’.
Deputy Pa Daly paid tribute to the residents and activists who’ve campaigned to bring the system to an end, saying their determination and advocacy has been remarkable and brought us to the point where real change is achievable.
He says Sinn Féin remains committed to working to ensure a successful implementation of the report.