Social Welfare fraudsters having field day — Ring

Social Welfare fraudsters are having a field-day as the Government scales back efforts to tackle social welfare fraud, according to Fine Gael Social Protection Spokesman Michael Ring.

“Éamon Ó Cuív is almost 50% behind on his target for tackling fraud this year. New figures from his Department reveal that the Government has fallen dangerously behind its fraud savings target of €533.3 million in 2010, for the second year in a row.

“With Ireland in the grip of an unemployment crisis, and thousands more every month becoming dependent on welfare support, we need to make sure that scarce resources are targeted at those who deserve them.”

According to the Department, fraud savings of just €110 million had been identified by the end of May.

“This is far short of the €222 million worth of fraud that should have been identified by that stage, let alone the €533.5 million for the year. It’s estimated that total fraud last year amounted to €2 billion. With these staggering amounts of taxpayers’ money being lost through social welfare fraud, Fine Gael believes targets for tackling fraud should be going up, not down”, said Deputy Ring, who this week moved into his new role as Spokesperson on Social Protection, following the new Fine Gael front bench reshuffle.

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