Welfare fraud plan targets new cars
Published 05/05/2011 | 05:00
THE Department of Social Protection is considering a new proposal to track down social welfare fraudsters by getting details of all new car purchases.
The move would place a requirement on motor tax applicants to supply their PPS number, so that their car ownership details could be cross-referenced against their social welfare claims.
Fine Gael Limerick County TD Patrick O'Donovan said this would help the department identify social welfare claimants driving an expensive new car -- with no obvious means of income to pay for it.
"If someone can put an 11-registered car worth €40,000 under them, then an alarm should go off about how they can afford it," he said.
Although there had been suggestions that the use of motor tax information could contravene data protection laws, the department said it was permitted to engage in "data sharing" under a section of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005.
"It's beginning to grate on an awful lot of people that you have a certain group of people who have their two fingers permanently up and they could not give a damn about the taxpayer," Mr O'Donovan said.