Saturday 18 November 2017

Big jump in 'snoop' welfare fraud calls in past two months

The report also reveals that in six cases, overpayments of more than €200,000 were made. (Stock picture)
The report also reveals that in six cases, overpayments of more than €200,000 were made. (Stock picture)

Gordon Deegan

'Snoop' reports made to the Department of Social Protection have increased by 66pc since Leo Varadkar's recently launched 'Welfare Cheats Us All' publicity campaign.

According to figures provided by the Social Protection Minister, 3,377 reports of suspected social welfare fraud have been received by his department since the launch of the €206,000 campaign on April 18.

In a written Dáil reply, Mr Varadkar stated: "This compares with 2,034 reports received for the same period in 2016, an increase of more than 66pc.

"These reports will be examined over the coming weeks and referred to the relevant scheme areas for appropriate follow-up action where this is warranted."

In response to a query from deputies Ruth Coppinger, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Brady and Mick Wallace, Mr Varadkar stated: "My department did not incur any additional staffing costs arising from the campaign as staff were already in place and dedicated to control and anti-fraud work."

Irish Independent

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