Celebrating The New Informer Culture


Minister Joan Burton announcing the results of an upsurge in people grassing on alleged dole cheats.

Despite this:

Fraud and error rates tend to range from 1 per cent in cases involving the State contributory pension to 3.1 per cent with the Jobseeker’s Allowance.


Welfare Fraud Prevention Results In Savings Of €645m (Irish Times)

Earlier: “A Cultural Shift”

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)


42 thoughts on “Celebrating The New Informer Culture

  1. Just sayin'

    Oh, stop the ‘high moral ground’ grandstanding Chompsky. Its called theft, and if you have reason to believe someone is stealing taxpayer’s money, then there is no moral issue with reporting it. That “informers are scum” nonsense helped the IRA to kill and maim for decades. I have no time for it.

    1. Dan


      Question for Chompsky, are you working on this site AND getting dole? Maybe that’s why this is such a thorny issue for you?

      1. GickerFace

        For both of you ‘go f**k yourselves’ the welfare system is f**ked and constantly puts people in positions where they have to criminalise themselves in order to stay above water because the system doesn’t take all social situations into consideration. Instead of promoting grassers maybe they should review the system and assess why people feel they have to lie in order to make ends meat. And if you’re talking about stealing tax payers money are you seriously pointing at the people on the dole? SERIOUSLY? Not the people who screwed us over by stealing MILLIONS of tax payers money and putting us in this position? No I don’t support this propagandist bullshit and neither should you.

          1. cluster

            Bullsh*t, they are two sides of the same coin. Those cheating the system are really cheating people who need the welfare.

            I don’t know how the fraud rates are calculated but there is no way they know with any degree of accuracy. I can’t believe the government are being criticised for trying to reduce welfare fraud. There are plenty of other things they could be attacked for.

        1. ineverthoughtidenduphere

          No excuse Gickerface, Fraud is fraud, no matter at what level. save me the social bleed heart look what’s them are doing no seat in my pants shit.

  2. Obie

    The accusation of “informing” is revealing — informers grass to the enemy. Considering the state as the enemy is a postcolonial hangover. Considering our tax pool as the property of the enemy is really crazy. If the trauma and impoverishment of the last few years have made people sit up and realise that taxes are a collective resource (paid by everyone, incl those on welfare, via VAT etc), and that we have to manage that resource in the way that does the most good for the collective, that is not an altogether bad thing.

    1. Tommy

      My auntie was burgled last week. I was disgusted when I found out she had turned informant to the gardai about the crime.

    2. soundmigration

      “Considering the state as the enemy is a postcolonial hangover”

      Bullshit! Who the f**k payed out €1.25 billion of our money last month to be burnt by the ICB/ECB?
      Who’s gonna write a €3.1 billion next month for the same? Who agreed this shit in the first place?

      The difficulty is the shifting and vague notion of that the ‘state’ actaully is, and understanding a nexus of power, capital flows, financial engineering wrapped up in technological advances, financial services architecture itself, and the revolving door between lobbyists, industrialists, civil service etc.

      Post conlonial hangover has a lot to answer for. Not least the intellectual paucity of nationalism and state identity as a prism for viewing power capital and culture.

      Nice touch above by the plonker bringing the Provos into it. What the fuck? Nice hyberbole, straight from the Paisley school of discussion

      I mean how the f**k does the state actually treat decent whistleblowers- you know work place informers – . Its ostracises them, its f**ks them over.

      So yeah i think its perfectly clear to see the state as an something that for the most part doesnt act with the best of intentions towards me, or my community. Thats hardly a radical idea, in fact its one pretty prevailent right across europe at the minute in community organisasation, anti poverty networks, tax justice campaigns, migrant and anti racism initatives. There is an increasing understanding, based upon both emperical evidence and critical observation, that the state – via its civil service and elected reps in governments – are mechanisms whose primary focus is as middle managers for financial systems, rather than as representatives for collective common good. Again hardly radical, but something that escapes the genuine weakness of post colonial political thought

  3. Dave, Dublin

    Fair play to the Irish Times for regurgitating the DoSP press release and getting basic facts about the story wrong.

    We’re not after saving €645m, DoSP admit that “These savings refer to future expenditure that would have been incurred but for this control work.” There’s no indication as to how this figure is calculated, and the Times fails to mention this fact at all. It’s almost like they needed to leave that part out in order for the story to seem in any way credible.

  4. paul

    1% and 3.1%. Re-emphasise.

    That will be the headline after this ‘99% get the correct amount! 1% receive incorrect amount due to error and/or fraud!’ ….or will it be Polish illegals get free baby carriages and fly in every fortnight with their nigerian girlfriends to visit their free houses? yeah.

    Nothing wrong with saving €645million by the way, I’m not complaining about that. We should get Joan to crack down on these fraudsters, http://www.thejournal.ie/taoiseach-noonan-howlin-among-ministers-claiming-unvouched-tds-expenses-345208-Feb2012/

  5. kolmo

    Why have those who fanned the flames of the celtic bubble through downright corruption and market manipulation not been properly persued, instead of focusing on the so-called rampant welfare cheats, look at the figures..actual billions or allegedly millions.
    I am not condoning fraud in any guise, tracksuited or armani suited..
    Nothing changes in Ireland. The real scum always floats to the top..and eventually run us into the ground.

  6. Patsy

    Yeah you shouldn’t rob from the dole but the fact is if they were doing their jobs right and actually checking up on people who’s claiming what, and whether they are actually in titled to it or not they would save even more! instead of getting us to do their job for them!

  7. raggagirl

    wow I thought from the first three posts I had wandered into neo con website. Are some people really so stupid not to realise these headlines are about diverting our attention from the biggest fraudsters of all, bankers and polticians, developers et al?

    A press release that has gone completely under the radar is a new ‘partial capactiy benefit’ allowance which joan of bark has introduced to hound people off disability allowance and force them into work. Despite the fact 1. there is no work. 2. no employer will empoy a person with a disability, and 3. most disabled people have had no input into their education and development so are not actually employable.

    But someone must pay back the debts of the banks, and it seems like a lot of Irish people concur with Bark.

    1. Tommy

      Covering the debts of the banks was essentially a misguided attempt to secure future funding for the state to pay its huge welfare bill.

          1. Stevie G

            So covering Anglo to the tune of 30 billion plus interest is to save the welfare system?
            That’s one crazy statement Tommy.

      1. raggagirl

        you really have it bad. And there is no paedophilia in the church only priests who really really love children. That would be your take on that, given your logic?

  8. Jockstrap

    There are two types of spongers in the state, those at the top of the economic pile and those at the bottom.

    Those at the top use tax breaks (legislated for by their mates) and personal connections for personal gain in the form of reduced tax bills and connections to the right people for business.

    Those at the bottom use scams but also loopholes which allow them to legally claim several benefits from the state.

    Both are morally wrong but it tends to be ones at the bottom who get chased because it’s the ones at the top who control Government.

    We’re not at all a fair and balanced country.

  9. Jimbo

    While there is a single politician in this state claiming unvouched expenses I will take anything they say with regard to fraud with a pinch of salt, if you don’t mind. Would I report someone? NO WAY!!!!

  10. All Fur Coat Frilly Keane

    As Stakeholders, we can hardly question and make demands of public servants, banks, public services, politicians if we are not prepared to hold ourselves to the same standards and accountability.

    And as far as I’m concerned repaying monies, fines and interest isn’t enough for tax cheats and SW/ HSE fraudsters. Community Service 10 hours per thousand guzzled from or withheld from the Exchequer.

    Only then can we be really entitled to real change in PS work practices, renumeration expenses and pensions, the legal system, our politicians etc etc.

  11. paul

    and how quickly we forget about the 66 politicians including our dear leader, claiming unvouched expenses upto 12k each! on top of their incredible salaries, huge pensions, 100k pay-off for leaving the ‘teaching profession’ that they haven’t been a part of for years.

    How many articles have we read about enda’s clandestine meeting in castlebar last year with the CEO of MPAA and his govt’s subsequent attempt to subvert Irish and European law to suit that man’s representative companies in Hollywood?

    If you want to look for corruption in Ireland it is at the hunters not the hunted that you should fix your gaze

  12. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

    It’s depressing. How will we ever have a culture where fraud is socially unacceptable and people are held to account for their crimes when this disgusting government is taking steps to make fraud socially acceptable and hold peope to account for their crimes? #OccupyNarnia

  13. Roberta C.

    1% due to error/fraud.

    How much is error and how much is fraud? Let’s say it’s a fifty/fifty split. That’s 0.5% fraud, and this is the headline that the media runs with. Depressing stuff. Even more depressing when that headline is run, and it reinforces the idea of people claiming social welfare and fraud.

  14. raggagirl

    I wonder what the figures are for benefit claims being turned down on the most spuriouis grounds, even when the criterial for entitlement is met.

    At the moment there is a widespread review of all claimants. I know of a good many carers who have been getting the benefit along respite care grant, and domiciliary care allowance, and all of the sudden the dept has decided that their children are no longer disabled enough to qualify. They have the same disabilities and qualified yesterday, but the barker is redefining the very concept of disability so that it is legislated out of existance.

    Hence the useful idiot Tony Humphreys recently declaring that autsim does not exist. If it doesn’t exist there is no need to provide resources for it.

    Ain’t they clever?

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