Of all the misinformation around the topic of immigration and migrant integration, the myth about free buggies on demand is by far the most advanced! Broadly speaking, the myth claims that asylum seekers and/or migrants are entitled to a wide range of free goods, including: buggies, cars, plasma screen TVs; stereos; car insurance; and mobile phones amongst others.
The story goes as follows:
A migrant woman got out of the taxi with her two children at the bus station. She didn’t bother taking the buggy with her because she knew she could just pick up another one on arrival.
If we look at this myth historically, we know that at one point in time this woman was an Irish single mother; then an Irish Traveller, before becoming a migrant woman. That being said, this myth can be easily adapted to suit the case in point and as such, not only migrant women are affected by this rumour.
The social welfare system in Ireland provides emergency and once-off payments known as Exceptional Needs Payments (ENPs) to people in Ireland, of all nationalities, particularly vulnerable low-income families. If an individual is deemed to have an exceptional need for a buggy and is approved by the Community Welfare Officer, they may purchase a buggy up to the maximum value of €100. It is hugely unlikely that a second buggy would be approved within 5 years of the individual receiving the initial payment.
The total figure spent on buggies in 2012 nationwide to people of all nationalities amounts to just 0.004% of the social welfare budget. Why are we even talking about it?
Watch: Anti-Rumours Free Buggies (YouTube)