THE State is spending around €150m a year hosting a "United Nations" of nationalities in rented properties, according to new figures.
People from 161 different countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, are in receipt of the free rental allowance.
They account for 39pc of the 63,000 people on the means-tested scheme, which costs a total of €390m annually and is generally open only to those who are unemployed.
Although 61pc of people on the scheme are Irish, the numbers of immigrants on rent allowance has been increasing steadily.
There are more than 3,000 from Nigeria, 3,000 from the UK, 1,950 from Poland and 1,130 from Romania. Small countries like the Bahamas, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Grenada and Honduras have just one citizen each on the scheme.