Dáil Éireann - Volume 438 - 02 February, 1994
Written Answers. - Social Welfare Amnesty.
Proinsias De Rossa Proinsias De Rossa
25. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Social Welfare in relation to the social welfare amnesty, the total number of inquiries received; the total number of applications received; the total number of persons who availed of the amnesty; the total revenue taken in; and if he will give a breakdown of each of these categories in respect of employers' PRSI and other social welfare payments.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The social welfare amnesty which I announced in June was designed to add impetus to the ongoing successful drive by my Department against fraud and abuse of the system. It offered people  who were defrauding the social welfare system a final opportunity to come clean and pay up what is due to the taxpaying public.
The amnesty against prosecution applied to employers, the self-employed and social welfare recipients who cooperated with my Department and put their affairs in order.
A total of 560 people made inquiries to my Department about the amnesty. A further 283 people, under investigation by my Department, were given the opportunity to avail of the amnesty.
The amnesty ended on 14 January 1994. At that date 550 people claiming social welfare payments had applied for the benefits of the amnesty. As these cases are still being processed, exact savings figures are not available.
The collection of PRSI arrears and the imposition of penalties in respect of those arrears is primarily a matter for the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. The tax amnesty, which included an amnesty from penalties on arrears of PRSI for employers and the self-employed, provided for the payment of all arrears of tax and PRSI due by 14 January 1994.
The majority of employers and self-employed who wished to avail of the amnesty in respect of their outstanding PRSI liabilities were required to contact their local tax office to have their applications considered. Accordingly my Department does not have statistics on people claiming the tax amnesty in respect of outstanding PRSI liabilities.
The social welfare amnesty is part of a package of control measures introduced by me over the last few years. I am satisfied that the amnesty has contributed to the ongoing efforts by my Department to stamp out social welfare fraud.
Dáil Éireann 438 Written Answers. Social Welfare Amnesty.