Dáil Éireann - Volume 438 - 02 February, 1994
Written Answers. - Social Welfare Fraud.
Miss Harney Miss Harney
24. Miss Harney asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of people found to be working and simultaneously signing for unemployment benefit and unemployment assistance in each of the years from 1991 to 1993; the number of people prosecuted through the courts; the total value of the fraud collected for each of these years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The information requested is set out in tabular form and will be included in the Official Report.
The problem of working and claiming is addressed by a number of initiatives. One method involves systematic review of claims. However, increasing emphasis is being placed on strict compliance with the PRSI system by employers. Experience has demonstrated that this approach is very effective.
 The enforcement process includes site visits, joint investigations with tax officials and notifications of commencement of employments, including the hiring of sub-contractors, in various sectors. Employers evading their PRSI obligations are deemed to be passively assisting any working and claiming by their employers. Such employers are now liable to repay any amounts fraudulently claimed as well as PRSI arrears. They also risk criminal prosecution.
Concurrent Working and Signing Detected by the Department of Social Welfare's Inspectors
1. The number of prosecutions in the period reflects the operation of two amnesties.
Dáil Éireann 438 Written Answers. Social Welfare Fraud.