The Government has dropped a commitment to implement a report on the reform of the asylum and direct provision systems. The report was commissioned by the last government.
The draft programme for government included a pledge to “implement the recommendations of the McMahon Report as swiftly as possible”.
However, this passage has been removed in the adopted programme for partnership government agreed between Fine Gael and some Independents and published on Wednesday.
The final report from the Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers published in June last year was chaired by retired High Court judge Bryan McMahon.
It made 173 recommendations. Among these were reducing the time asylum applicants wait for a final decision and improving living conditions while waiting.
One of the most important recommendations was a “single application procedure” to streamline the process of applying for refuge. It has been included in the International Protection Bill 2015 which was passed last December. It has however, yet to be commenced.
Other recommendations, including allowing access to the labour market, access to high-level education, increases in welfare allowances and communal cooking facilities, have not been implemented.
The draft programme for government states: “Long durations in direct provision are acknowledged to have a negative impact on family life. We are therefore committed to reforming the Direct Provision system, with particular focus on families and children and will seek to implement the recommendations of the McMahon Report as swiftly as possible.”