Sir -- In relation to Mark O'Brien's letter (Sunday Independent, November 21, 2010) about social welfare fraud, I would like to make the following points.
In relation to jobseekers who did not "sign on" during the period of the ash cloud, there was no significant difference in these numbers compared to weeks where disruption of air travel due to ash was not a factor. Also, the vast majority -- 83 per cent -- were Irish; 10 per cent were from the rest of the EU and 7 per cent were from beyond the EU.
In relation to the Public Services Card, this is being introduced to act as a key for access to public services in general. Card issue for customers will commence early in 2011, and the security features of the card -- such as a photograph, and electronic chip -- are expected to minimise the rate of fraud and error.