Mosney asylum seekers urged to boycott ‘rip-off’ food credits shop on site
2017-02-01 14:13:14 -
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By Chinedu Onyejelem

A new credit system at the Mosney direct provision centre to provide for limited self-catering is causing headaches for residents, Metro Éireann has learned.

According to residents, the new system provides them with credits or ‘shopping points’ which can be used to pay for goods at the café or ‘food mall’ on site, which can be cooked by residents in rooms with self-catering facilities.

However Metro Éireann has learned that less than 48 hours into its launch, residents have complained of the shop’s lack of necessary items – as well as a lack of points to purchase goods. 

“You see a few hours ago we went to buy fruits and vegetable and they say ‘no we don’t have’,” reads one social media post on the issue. “When we ask for when are they going to come, [the shop assistant] said ‘I don’t know’. Look how these shameless people are.

“Few hours ago I talked to many people in the kitchen and everyone was so much disappointed and it’s the second day of this so called café and points are already finished.”

The credits system replaces the meals previously provided for reference, and its supplementary to their weekly cash allowance.

However, one resident said they were not consulted about the system – nor informed precisely how it would work – before its introduction.

“What we have found out by ourselves is that a single person gets 67 points per week, a couple or two adults and a child get 102, while a single mother with two 2 kids receives 97 points on top of their weekly allowance.”

However, the resident added that because there was no information provided, some people spent all their points on the first day. 
“We have also observed that there seems to be differences in points allocation between programmed Syrian refugees and others in Mosney.” 

Residents say they have not been able to ascetain the actual value of the points, but assume that one point equals €1.
A statement by the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (Masi) on behalf of the residents also described the on-site café as a “rip off”. 

“Each and every product they have is four times the market price, and the points they are giving us are now finished,” the statement says. “It’s such a big joke and everyone is shocked.”

For example, resident Mariam Harris says on her Facebook page that a packet of Jammie Dodgers biscuits costs €1.38 in Mosney, whereas three packs of the same biscuits are sold for €1.50 in one local supermarket. 

“This is absurd indeed,” she said, adding that the shop’s opening hours – 9.30am to 3.30pm on weekdays, and 9.30am to 1.30pm on Saturdays – are “pathetic”.

Harris says such treatment is why she supports the campaign to end direct provision.

Meanwhile, Masi has urged Mosney residents to boycott the café “with immediate effect”.

Justice was preparing a response at press time.
TAGS : Ireland Mosney Asylum seekers Rip off Food credit shop on site
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