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Social welfare fraud

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, responded to a question from Alan Farrell (FG, Dublin N) about social welfare fraud (Dail Eireann, Debates, 16th October 2012, w/a 19).  She told him that in 2011 there were 63,310 overpayments valued at €94.2m and the department was now pursuing them so as to recover 100% of the amount owed.  The breakdown was as follows:


Fraud: 20,585 cases, value €34.9m

Customer, departmental or third party error: 42,354 cases, value €46m

Estate (undisclosed means coming to light after death): 371 cases, €11.5m.


Later, she told Joe McHugh (FG, Donegal NE) that her department had set a target of reviewing 985,000 claims this year so as to save €645m.  So far, by the end of August, 821,000 reviews had been carried out, saving €456m (a table was provided to give a breakdown by headings).  These were an estimate of the value of the control activity and an indicator of the amount by which claims would have increased without such scrutiny (Dail Eireann, Debates, 17th October 2012, w/a 105-6).