Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (725)

Matt Carthy


725. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Justice the planned timeline for delivering the ability to apply for driver licences and bank accounts for persons resident in direct provision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38410/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Advisory Group on the Provision of Support, including Accommodation to Persons in the International Protection Process, reported in October. The Group made a number of recommendations, including in relation to driving licences and bank accounts.

The granting of access to the driving licensing system to international protection applicants is currently being examined by the Department of Transport and the Road Safety Authority, in consultation with my Department. I understand that there are a number of complex legal, administrative and technical issues to consider and resolve.

Insofar as the opening of bank accounts is concerned, my officials are currently examining the issue and are engaging with relevant stakeholders, including the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI), with a view to achieving an early resolution of the issues.

I can assure the Deputy that in both cases, I am anxious to see the Advisory Group's recommendations implemented without any undue delay.