PAC Meeting | March 14, 2013
RE: Social Welfare Fraud
Deputy John Deasy (extract):
This is a complex area involving many payments. I deal with many social welfare queries in my office. I am not saying I know everything about it, but we are quite busy. We have a slight concern over deterrents and how people view the system before they engage in fraudulent activity in particular. I will give an example of an application I printed. In many cases the only deterrent is the warning printed at the bottom of a typical application that states: “Warning: If you make a false statement or withhold information, you may be prosecuted leadingto a fine, a prison term or both.” Looking at the figures, the chances of that happening are quite small compared with other jurisdictions – I will come to that later.
I am not concerned about after the fact but what happens beforehand and the thought process when an individual is tempted. There is considerably more temptation these days to commit welfare fraud for the obvious reasons. This can be compared with Revenue, for example. Among individuals thinking about going down the road of committing welfare fraud, is there sufficient deterrent in their mind before taking that initial step? That is our concern... we need to work out how we can be more effective in deterring people from going down that road at the very beginning.
>> Read John's contributions and questions in full here: (pages 9-12)
Selected contributions, 2013 meetings of PAC
As the public spending watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee is one of the most powerful Oireachtas Committees. It has a key role to play in ensuring that there is accountability and transparency in the way Government agencies allocate, spend and manage their finances and in guaranteeing that the taxpayer receives value for money for every euro spent.