Government to crack down on welfare tourists
The Government has stepped up it’s efforts to prevent further social welfare fraud by people flying into Ireland to claim social welfare checks. New figures released recently indicated that one case of this type of fraud had been detected every four days at Irish airports.
Welfare inspectors stationed at Irish airports have discovered 122 cases of social welfare fraud in the past 18 months and have saved the state €1.35 million. The new operation at airports aims to catch people who are coming repeatedly to the country with a view of collecting social welfare to which they are no longer entitled to considering they no longer live in Ireland.
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said recently that more measures to prevent further benefit fraud would be put in place “Access for additional officers to attend and operate in airports has been sought and, in the medium-term, it is intended to increase this activity” and that the department would actively pursue recovering money where there is evidence of over payment.Last year the department estimated it managed to recover as much as €669 million in savings through anti-fraud measures.