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Saturday 16 December 2017

Record 17,000 tips on social welfare fraud as crackdown nets €645m

Ed Carty

SOME €645m has been saved in a crackdown on welfare fraud, the Government has revealed.

Department of Social Protection officials reviewed 982,000 individual benefit claims and received a record 17,000 anonymous tip-offs about irregular claims last year.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said the level of savings is well above the target of €540m.

"It shows our commitment to tackling fraud and abuse of the social welfare system across our broad range of schemes," she said.

The department's fraud review showed:

- €167m saved from irregular One Parent Family payments;

- Pensions savings of almost €142m;

- More than €92m through illness payments;

- Savings in jobseekers claims worth more than €82m, with more than 222,000 claims reviewed;

- More than 392,000 child benefit payment claims reviewed resulting in savings of about €88m.

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