Estimating the MESL costs for families in Direct Provision


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This is a working paper from the Vincentian MESL Research Centre which has conducted research on the minimum essential standard of living (MESL) since 2004. The paper outlines the findings of the first, desk-based, stage of a project to establish the MESL needs for families with children living in the Irish Direct Provision system. It will inform a subsequent stage of the project which will include focus groups of people with experience of living within Direct Provision.

The paper models a scenario based on how the Direct Provision system “should” work, informed by a review of official key documents including the National Standards for Direct Provision. It is important to acknowledge that due to the large variation in the standard and type of service being provided across the country, this scenario may portray a “best case” situation that many people living in Direct Provision accommodation may not receive.

Following a review of documentation and consultation with an Expert Group, adjustments were made to the MESL baskets to remove items not applicable and to add additional goods and services required when living in Direct Provision. The paper details these deliberations and adjustments to the MESL baskets, and discusses the total estimated MESL need of these families and examines the adequacy of income supports provided by the State to families living in Direct Provision accommodation, when in this scenario.

Source: Vincentian MESL Research Centre

Author(s):Vincentian MESL Research Centre
Publisher:Vincentian MESL Research Centre
Publication Date:10 May 2023
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