€669m Saved Through Controlled Measures

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., has today published details of how savings of €669 million were achieved in 2012 through a broad range of control measures across Department of Social Protection schemes.

The savings exceeded the target originally set for the year of €645 million.

In total, more than 1 million reviews of individual social welfare claims were carried out, again exceeding target, which had been set at 985,000.

As a result of the Department's consistently strong performance in this area, Minister Burton has now set a target for €710 million in control savings to be achieved this year.

The Minister said: "These figures demonstrate once again my Department's commitment to stamping out welfare fraud and abuse. I have always championed the welfare system as a safety net for those who need it most, and that safety net is more important than ever in the current economic climate. However, it's precisely because the State's limited resources should go to those most in need that we need to prevent fraud and abuse in the system.

"The Programme for Government commits to maintaining core welfare rates while taking a zero-tolerance approach towards welfare fraud. These are my twin aims to ensure we protect the vulnerable and pursue those who try to defraud the system."

The savings refer to money that would have been paid out by the Department but for the control measures implemented. Control measures include all activities that the Department undertakes to ensure that people are receiving the correct amount of their entitlement. They are also aimed at preventing and detecting social welfare fraud. They range from mail shots whereby social welfare recipients confirm that eligibility conditions continue to be met, direct reviews of entitlement by inspectors and medical re-certification or examination to fraud and abuse investigations by the Department's Special Investigation Unit.


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