EU state could slash payments for all Ukrainians to just €38 per week – minister

Ireland may also cut the government-funded housing limit to 90 days

Dublin may cut welfare benefits to Ukrainian refugees by more than 80 percent and introduce limits on their stay in Irish government-provided housing, the country’s minister of social protection has told the parliament.

The proposed change would be retroactive and would affect any Ukrainians currently living in state accommodation, in addition to new arrivals, the Irish Independent newspaper reported on Wednesday. 

“We may have to make the decision that anybody in state provided accommodation, regardless of what date they arrived, they will receive a payment of €38.80,” Dublin’s Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys told the Assembly of Ireland.

Currently, Ireland provides tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees state housing, and a Jobseeker’s Allowance of €232 per week, but it decided to cut the state benefits to bring the country “in line” with other European states.

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EU state could slash payments for all Ukrainians to just €38 per week – minister
‘Stop giving money to our refugees’ – Zelensky

Last week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called on Berlin to stop financially supporting Ukrainian refugees on its territory, claiming that “it would be better if Germany supported Ukrainians by giving money to the budget of Ukraine.”

Western cash and military aid infusions for Kiev have slowed in recent months, after the Ukrainian counteroffensive last year ended in no significant gains and nearly 400,000 Ukrainian casualties, according to Moscow’s estimates. However, Ukraine’s chief of military intelligence Kirill Budanov promised yet another counteroffensive push in the coming spring.

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FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak
Foreign nations should kick out Ukrainian draft dodgers – Zelensky aide

Ukrainian officials voiced plans to mobilize around 500,000 fresh conscripts to cover war losses, with lawmakers working on a new mobilization bill that among other things would target military aged males who had fled the country.

In order to aid the recruitment drive, Kiev even urged Western states to cut payouts to Ukrainian refugees if they refuse to go back to Ukraine for the draft. One of Zelensky’s senior aides, Mikhail Podoliak, said in December that they should be given a choice to “either to get drafted or… lose certain opportunities granted to people that temporarily left Ukraine.”

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