Ukrainian refugees will be housed in tents "within weeks", says Michael McGrath
A stark state of affairs.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has provided a difficult update on Ireland's response to the crisis in Ukraine.
According to Minister McGrath, Ukrainian refugees entering the country will be housed in tents "within weeks" as the Government struggles to meet the demand for emergency accommodation.
"We are going to see Ukrainian refugees, unfortunately, having to be accommodated in circumstances that none of us would have thought imaginable," McGrath told the Irish Examiner.
Asked if tents would be employed, McGrath responded:
"Yes, I think we will most likely see that within weeks. Because we are going to simply run out of emergency accommodation.
"And bear in mind that all of this is coming on top of, you know, a very, very challenging housing situation."
Minister McGrath noted that the cost of welfare for Ukrainian refugees in Ireland could cost billions, offering an estimate of between €2.4 billion and €2.8 billion.
It is expected that approximately 100,000 refugees will arrive in Ireland over the course of the next year.
Last week, Minister McGrath said that market volatility, uncertainly and price hikes are "here to stay" for the foreseeable future.
With regards to providing housing for Ukrainian refugees, McGrath acknowledged that the costs will be high for all involved, but it represents "the right thing to do".
"It is the case for about 10,000 refugees, to cater for all of their costs over the full year; the cost is of the order of €400 – €500 million," he outlined.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan is set to argue for radical measures in a bid to tackle the ongoing rise in energy costs.
Recent weeks have seen notable price hike announcements from Ireland's leading energy providers including Electric Ireland, SSE Airtricity, Energia, and Bord Gáis.
Among the forthcoming proposed measures – taking shorter showers, cutting out one car journey a week and replacing that trip with walking or public transport, turning down your thermostat by a degree, and not filling a kettle all the way up.
"The scale of them will depend on the unfolding crisis [Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine] in the next few weeks," he told Morning Ireland on Monday.
Featured Image of Michael McGrath via Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie