How Far Does €9.60 Go?



Further to reports that some female asylum seekers, who have children, are engaging in prostitution to supplement the €19.10 a week they receive from the State, and the €9.60 each asylum-seeking child gets a week, the Irish Refugee Council has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness about the €9.60 asylee children receive from the State.

Some contributions so far…


Samantha Arnold tweetz:

“Contact lenses for a month= 1/4 of adult #DPAllowance 1/2 child’s allowance.”


Irish Refugee Council tweetz:

“A father of two sent us in this. They cost €12. How quickly does your child grow out of their shoes?”


Irish Refugee Council tweetz:

“€5.24 for some apples and bananas. That leaves me with €4.36 from my weekly #DPallowance.”

Irish Refugee Council

Previously: “He Took Me Around Some Bushes”

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92 thoughts on “How Far Does €9.60 Go?

    1. realPolithicks

      Absolutely, a simple solution. They also need to be allowed to properly integrate into the community. Nobody, but especially children should be forced to live in those conditions. Wake up Ireland!

  1. eamonn clancy

    6 chicken fillets for a fiver in Meath St butchers. Bag of spuds 3 euro, leave just under 2 euros for a large bottle of sprite on special offer in centre for 1.25. Get out and walk.

    1. Jess

      Firstly, that is not enough food for a week. Secondly, get out and walk from their refugee camp to Meath street?

    2. Spartacus


      What suggestions do you have for the chicken and the spuds, given that there are no personal cooking facilities permitted in Direct Provision camps.

        1. Spartacus

          They eat whatever the private operators of the for-profit Direct Provision camps decide should be on the menu.

    3. will-billy

      ok gordon ramsey that is about 3 or 4 meals taken care of. what about the other ten? special offer on pot noodles?

    1. Sidewinder

      Or like, dignity and some other shit written on the UN declaration of human rights that we signed up to.

    1. Tom Stewart

      This left me scratching my head too.

      Contact lenses for a month = 1/4 of adult #DPAllowance
      Contact lenses for a month = 1/4 of €19.60
      Contact lenses for a month = €4.90 (seems ok to me)


      Was Samantha trying to say “adult #DPAllowance = 1/4 contact lenses for a month?

    2. ABM

      So let me get this straight. An immigrant quango is campaigning for free contact lenses?

      There’s probably another state-funded quango responsible for ensuring there’s a cupboard stocked full of prophylactics.

    3. Odis

      Specsavers apparently.
      How does that work? I correct my defective eyesight with spectacles. Do you need to have contact lenses or can people use glasses?

      1. Sidewinder

        I wear contacts for exercising and for work. Glasses are a pain in the ass when you work in a hospital environment, I don’t know many people who wear them. They’re always falling off my face. Also my prescription is so bad that they can barely fit the lenses in the frames anymore (literally had a woman in specsavers tell me that they won’t be able to do it if my prescription gets any worse) and I can’t afford the super thin ones. €30 a month is a lot easier for me to manage than €300 in one go. Dunno if they’re BSing me to try and get more money but the 8 year old pair I have at the moment has lenses a good 5mm wider than the thick frames.

    4. Spartacus


      The receipt is very clearly for €20. The adult allowance is €19.10 per week, which equates to €82.77 per month. So, to say that the contact lenses cost 1/4 of the monthly Direct Provision allowance for an adult appears to be perfectly reasonable, does it not?

      1. B Hewson

        The cheapest you could manage is a bag of cooking apples, pick some blackberries down laneway ( in season and free) and a pair of 2nd hand glasses from a second hand shop or likely get free glasses from a charity = about €2 or €3 total.

      2. Tom Stewart

        Yes Spartacus, the receipt is very clearly for €20, but it’s absolutely ages away from the “1/4 DP Allowance” comment, so I didn’t even associate it with it. It would have made more sense if the Specsavers image was next to that comment.

        1. Spartacus

          I was hoping to illustrate how utterly pointless Tom’s (and your) information about the availability of below cost food in a particular supermarket chain is, when the person in question doesn’t have access to those supermarkets.

          That appears to be too subtle a concept for you to grasp.

          Since you seem to be determined to act the fool, I may as well go to the trouble of pointing out that the IRC campaign is asking the general public to submit their examples showing how little €19.10 (adult rate) and €9.60 (for a child) will buy in everyday life. The receipt for fruit above may not have been submitted by any person actually in the Direct Provision system.

          But if it give you some perverse pleasure to hang on to this little detail, I guess this tells us quite a lot about you, and your values.

          1. Odis

            I see so these aren’t the actual receipts from people who are in direct provision, they are just random shopping receipts, is that what you are saying?

            ““€5.24 for some apples and bananas. That leaves me with €4.36 from my weekly #DPallowance.” – Where as the post implies they are the receipts of those in direct provision. Albeit persons with limited shopping skills.

            This is all sorta kinda make-uppy isn’t it? Can I send in some of my shopping receipts and pretend I’m in direct provision?

            And while I’m at it, no need to be a snotty ****. I think it tells us quite a lot about you and your values.

            I’m glad I didn’t point out to you that there’s no Specsavers in Foynes for matter.

          2. Spartacus

            I can see that you’re finally getting there. Slow, but quite endearing to watch.

            Your opinion of me is of zero interest.

          3. Nigel

            Like someone wandering down North Wall Quay and thinking about the good old days, you’re missing the point.

          4. Tom Stewart

            I think you’ve lost the run of yourself Spartacus – to the point where you haven’t realised that you’ve completely contradicted yourself.

            You very much insist that for a purchase to count, it must be within reach of Foynes (cf. “How many Aldi stores in Foynes, Tom?”).

            You then vehemently defend the validity of the Tesco receipt, of which there is none in Foynes (the IRC campaign is asking the general public to submit their examples showing how little [€19.10/€9.60] will buy in everyday life).

            And your comments have also taken on a very nasty and personal tone, which there’s no need for.

          5. Spartacus

            Tom, you are clearly not following the plot.

            As for your dislike for my tone, please allow me to clarify my position. I *do not care* what you or anyone else thinks of me. It is of absolutely no consequence, and has no bearing on the subject at hand.

          6. Tom Stewart

            I’m perfectly aware of what the plot is, and the point the campaign is trying to make.

            What me and Odis are doing, and what you don’t seem to like, is pointing out the very flawed way in which that point is being made.

            It’s also a very questionable style of argument style to completely disregard your audience’s opinion of you. If they see you as a reasonable, nice person, they’re more likely to agree with you, and your point will prevail. If you act like a d**k, the opposite is more likely to happen.

          7. Spartacus

            Tom, for the last time. This is not about me. This is not about you. I do not need, want, or seek your approval, love, or blessing.

            This is about human beings in our midst, on our watch, in our care, and for whom we are responsible, being treated as untermensch. Do you get that?

          8. Tom Stewart

            I. GET. IT. (just like I said in my last post). Would you like to ask me again if I get it?

            It would also be difficult to conclude from my last comment that I think this is about me or you. I explicitly stated that I was pointing out flaws in how the point was being made. Is this not allowed? Would you prefer it if I just shut up and accepted your point of view without question? (just to be clear, two people can discuss a topic, refer to the other person’s point of view without meaning that either people are the centre of the discussion)

          9. Odis

            @ Nigel
            “Like someone wandering down North Wall Quay and thinking about the good old days, you’re missing the point”.
            And I’m glad you are wealthy enough to miss my point m8.

          10. Nigel

            I didn’t miss it. The exercise is to show how far 9.60 will go for anyone, thereby creating empathy and a human connection with the straitened financial position of those in Direct Provision. That the money will go further for some people than it will for others doesn’t negate the point that it doesn’t go very far at all. In fact it emphasises the privileged position of being able to shop around, which involves a hidden cost that reduces the value of the DP 9.60 even further. Try to conetxtualise the exercise, then you will resolve the apparent contradictions.

          1. Odis

            I believe I do get the point. I’m just pointing out the gaping flaws in the “basic concept”. How “titish” and pedantic of me.

          2. will-billy

            it is building awareness with the public, not designed as a doctoral dissertation. but then we’ve all seen you are a c#nt before anyway.

          3. Odis

            Billy shouldn’t you be doing your homework?

            > N.B. Calls me a ****, whilst making loathsome sexist comments (above).

          4. will-billy

            What are you raving about now Odious?

            Sorry, I got my female body parts mixed up as I am such a sexist pig.

            You are indeed merely just a breast as the other person above has stated.

  2. Anne

    Monkeys may be able to live off eating bananas, but more advanced people need a more varied diet.

    You’ll always get morons who’ll argue about the semantics, while missing the point.
    Regardless of better deals for bananas, you won’t get much in this county for 9 euro.

    Back to your bananas monkey.

      1. Tom Stewart

        Holy crap! This so far from my comment that I didn’t notice until now that you just called me a monkey!

        Anne, you’re a very nasty presence here (though I’m sure you’ll tell me you don’t care).

        We might completely disagree on a point Anne, but name-calling is hardly a solution.

        1. Anne

          Sorry Tom. Very sorry.
          I mistakenly took you for ‘kildaretom’.. I realise now you are not that monkey.

          I was nasty too on the thread about take away recently..
          I’ll try not to be so nasty going forward. Spartacus, you could do the same.

          I think we should all have a group hug and sing kumbaye.

  3. Anne

    “Complete bullsh**. You have managed to find the most expensive fruit in the country. I bought bananas this week from Aldi. 8 of them for €0.49”

    What a savvy shopper we have here.

    Make sure you tell us next week’s bargain in Aldi, so we can pass along this crucial information for those eking out an existence.
    If only we’d have known of this sooner, all this misery could have ended long ago.


    1. Tom Stewart

      Yes: because economical shopping would be of no interest to those with limited means. None at all.

      My comment was calling out spending over a fiver on two bunchs of fruit. It was not suggested that my comment was a solution to Direct Provision – don’t try to paint it as such.

      1. Anne

        Being economical means having the means to shop around.

        It’s all the one whatever you buy, it aint going far.

        Talking about bananas in Aldi is kinda missing the point.

        1. Tom Stewart

          I don’t think it was missing the point. I think it was to the point, though this admittedly wasn’t clear. I wasn’t suggesting “If you shop in Aldi, your €9.60 will do you grand”. I was pointing out a very flawed point being made by the person who sent in the Tesco receipt for over a fiver. If you want to show that €9.60 isn’t enough for a child for a week, fine. Easy point to make. But you’re not going to make it by sending in images of those absurdly uneconomical purchases.

          1. Anne

            “I was pointing out a very flawed point being made by the person who sent in the Tesco receipt for over a fiver.”

            Why is it flawed?

            Tesco have a large (if not the largest) market share of the grocery market in this country.
            It’s indicative of what you can pay in this country for some fruit.

            It’s not a receipt from Brown Thomas for caviar Tom.

            And you’re still missing the point, that 9 euro won’t get you much.
            Granted it will get you more in Aldi, than Tesco or Dunnes, but that is not the point.

            Just go on away and think harder about it.
            Come back tomorrow after a night’s rest.

          2. Tom Stewart

            I say: “If you want to show that €9.60 isn’t enough for a child for a week, fine. Easy point to make.”

            You respond: “And you’re still missing the point, that 9 euro won’t get you much.”


            And you then have the gall (and nastiness once again) to tell me to “go on away and think harder about it.”

            It’s flawed because it’s an absurdly high amount to pay for the food received, by anyone’s measure.

          3. Anne

            I see you’re calling Spartacus nasty also Tom.
            You have form for calling everyone nasty who disagrees with you.

            Tesco are a big supermarket chain in Ireland.
            It may be uneconomical to you, but it’s an example of what you can get for your money.

          4. Odis

            Just a minute Anne, this might be of no particular interest or concern to you, but if you are some unfortunate, living on €19.60 a week. I would argue it is (and should be) of great interest.

            Lets do the maths here.
            19.60 – 5.24 = 14.36 ( 27% of miserable allowance consumed)
            19.60 – 0.98 = 18.62 ( 5% of miserable allowance consumed)

            For your information details of Aldi’s future “Super Six” offers are available in a printed, in-store catalogue, should you not be able to get on-line.

            You say above –“Regardless of better deals for bananas, you won’t get much in this county for 9 euro”. I’m pleased the price of shopping is of little concern to you. I’m also mindful that this isn’t the case for a lot of people (not just asylum seekers) living in this country.

          5. will-billy

            i think it was Tom (my you are a prickly pear :).
            savvy shopping is a science that relies in large part on advanced numeracy skills and transport access that you and I (hopefully) take for granted. the average person in DP may not have those skills. personally when i was not earning much recently i was occasionally able to feed myself and partner most meals on average maximum 80 euro a week. but to do this takes some advanced cooking ability and knowledge of foods which are not generally available in small provincial towns e.g. pulses etc.

          6. Nigel

            But this assumes that price ranges are uniform across a geographical area, and that the availability of fruit at the high price means the equal availability of fruit at the low price and that access to these prices is constant, cost-free, and trivial, when in fact what this is attempting to convey, is that this is how much things cost. They may cost a different amount elsewhere and at different times, but here and now, this is how much. The exercise will, presumably, produce a range of prices for different goods and services, and within that range the limitations of that amount of money will be understood. To suggest that there are cheaper goods available elsewhere is to merely set a lower limit on the range, it does NOT devalue the exercise. I suspect there is very little we can teach people in DP about economising that they haven’t already learned through hard practice.

          7. Odis

            @ Nigel – Eloquently put. I don’t think anyone can reasonably disagree, that whether its 9.60 or 19.60 its a miserable sum of money.
            However in the Ireland of 2014, (even in the culchie land beyond the pale). Where you will find a Tesco, you will also find an Aldi or Lidl . Though where you find an Aldi or Lidl you might not necessarily find a Tesco or Dunnes.

            That’s the simple point I’m making here.

            I would add, I regret commenting in this post. Perhaps Bodger should have made it clear, at the beginning, that the post was only really open to Broadsheets SJW elite. And any attempts to question its reasoning, or assertions, would be met with wholly justifiable arrogance and intolerance.

          8. will-billy

            haha eh? did i just see someone tucking into a measly portion of sour grapes? i hope you bought them at aldi half ripe and not at fallon and byrne! more tart that way :)

          9. Spartacus

            “That’s the simple point I’m making here.”

            So, there we have it… validating your OCD-led obsession with the pricing structure in the fruit retailing industry is more important than the substantive issue at hand, namely the abhorrent manner in which we as a society treat some of our most vulnerable?

            I think you’d have slotted in perfectly in those “after-high-mass-on-a-sunday” meetings held in “best” front rooms during the height of the Magdalene era.

          10. Nigel

            Odis, I hope that it wasn’t arrogance or intolerance but frustration and crossed wires and miscommunication. I apologise if I came across that way.

  4. Sinabhfuil

    The local shop in Foynes seems to be a Centra. You can get these current offers there:

    I suppose the cheapest way of eating would be to buy a giant bag of spuds and some milk for the week. That would keep you from starving; however, buying any washing powder (or clothes to wash), or any medicine, even a pack of headache pills, or a magazine, or razor or blades, or… well, almost anything would be impossible.

    Sorry not to be able to provide receipts; I didn’t realise the ones issued to asylum seekers showed different prices…

    1. ESV

      How do women buy tampons? How do parents buy essential daily supplies for infants ( not of the medical variety, the stuff everyone else picks up in the supermarket)?

  5. Andy Moore

    €1.5 Billion given to various Isle of Man registred providers of refuge ?? somebody p top on these comments should do the sums & not just be providing nonsensical shopping tips ??

    1. Spartacus

      Wouldn’t it be lovely to expose the individuals behind this to daylight? I wonder what names we’d see there?

    2. Odis

      Whats with your snarkiness Andy?
      You give me the figures and the information and I’ll do the sums.

      All you seem to be providing here, is innuendo. If you have some information then you should e mail it to, who will most probably publish it, (if it is legally feasible, to do so).

      If the Irish refugee Council / Bodger want to publish a deeply flawed post, is it wrong for the likes of Tom Stewart and myself, to be critical of its content?
      That we see it through different eyes, than yours, in no way invalidates our argument.
      Indeed is there any need to be arrogant, high handed and dismissive, in your comments, my guess is that many people would share the views I’ve expressed here.

  6. Tragic Kingdom

    Shame the Irish Refugee Council didn’t throw in the old #masseyferguson hashtag just for rural crack like

  7. Anne

    “I think you’ve lost the run of yourself Spartacus.. And your comments have also taken on a very nasty and personal tone, which there’s no need for”

    “lost the run of yourself’. Ha!
    In case anyone missed that from Tom there.
    FYI administrators, if I’m in moderation for this.. toodles.

        1. Anne

          They fupped up and picked the wrong winner – a boy, again. They had to update the post as the brewery preferred my entry, which meant two winners.
          And they posted the update about me winning saying for the sake of equal opportunity. ha.
          A lot of gays don’t like the wimmins at all.

          You can say whatever you want around here. Fling all sorts of abuse, as long as you’re a boy. In fact, I recall you saying to another commenter recently that they were just abusing me when he kept calling me the spokesperson for the dumb.. When I hadn’t gotten personal with him. Double standards.

          I’ve asked for an explanation as to why I haven’t received the beers.. and what comment I was put in moderation for. It’d be common decency to advise me on that.
          We’ll see.

          1. will-billy


            don’t hold your breath

            the person was clearly abusing you, he/she was just repeating a vapid insult for the sake of it, in a different context, there was no justification for it at all

            What I notice for future reference is that on here it seems you can call people insults of all types but not anything remotely sexist, racist or implying a threat of violence of some kind. you can use swear words etc to your hearts content provided you put an asterisk in them but not words like ‘a$se’ which oddly enough some of them transpose into ‘bum’ with unintentionally hilarious results.

            I am not a girl clearly so I cannot say what the story is in relation to your other comments. obviously men will from time to time respond to each other in a male way generally, using aggressive turns of phrase and so on. Personally it seems quite normal to me to do that occasionally when I get especially annoyed by someone but it might not make for a compelling style of argumentation. while I am as much for ‘equality’ as anyone else It’s not something I’d aspire to being allowed to be doing, if I was not a man ;)

          2. will-billy

            i meant to say also that we all judge women to a “higher” standard don’t we! gay or otherwise. men just tend not to communicate in the same ways as you lot. isn’t that part of the problem? #shewasaskingforit

          3. Anne

            “don’t hold your breath”
            I got an apology from the boss man actually. :)

            Whoever put me into moderation, can politely kiss me – How did you spell it – a*se.

            *asterisks for extra politeness.

  8. Tragic Kingdom

    TCD students with nothing else to do: How many DP allowances would you need to buy a pair of Uggs, Beats headphones or an iPhone 5S?*

    * Assuming mummy didn’t use her credit card.

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