Friday 31 March 2017

Tip-offs for suspected social welfare fraud soar as recession bites

THE number of suspected social welfare fraud tip-offs has soared from just over 579 in 2006 to over 16,000 this year.

Reductions in the annual social welfare bill of over €20bn pa have been targeted and a crackdown on welfare fraud has been prioritised as a means of saving money.



Appeals to the public for assistance in identifying fraudulent claims have worked, according to the new figures released by the Department of Social Protection.



Most reports about fraud were for working and claiming which accounted for just over 7,000 cases. And a total of 831 of the reports concerned individuals suspected of claiming here while living abroad.



The estimated potential savings from clamping down on welfare fraud vary from €0.5bn to €20m in a single year.

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