Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 04 March, 1997

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

[1430] 28. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether he intends to extend the campaign to those on other social welfare payments in view of the perceived success in reducing the numbers abusing the live register list, for example, to those in receipt of lone parent's payments; whether any surveys or examinations have taken place in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20754/96]

Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): There is an active ongoing control programme covering all areas of the social welfare system and specialist control staff are deployed, in addition to staff carrying out routine reviews, at head office and at local level.

The programme is carefully monitored and the various measures are continuously refined to ensure that they remain effective. New approaches and measures appropriate to each scheme are undertaken on an ongoing basis and when it is considered that they will yield results.

In relation to lone parents' payments there is a full investigation of circumstances at the point of claim. During the lifetime of each claim there is a programme of routine reviews and specially targeted control projects aimed at identifying undisclosed means, cohabitation-marriage, incorrect addresses and fraudulent encashment. During 1996, some 10,000 lone parents had their entitlement to payments reviewed.

I am determined to ensure that payments are confined to those who are legally entitled to them.