Minister for Social Protection and Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar launching his Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All campaign last month
Fine Gael TD and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar spoke to Cathal MacCoille on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
During the interview they briefly discussed the Social Welfare Bill and his plans to publish the names of people convicted of social welfare fraud.
It follows the recent launch of his Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All campaign, in which he calls on people to notify the authorities of people they believe are committing welfare fraud.
From the interview this morning…
Cathal MacCoille: “The Social Welfare Bill, it’s attracted a fair amount of attention already because of this proposal to publish the names and addresses of those convicted of welfare fraud. The reason you decided to do that? How many people will be affected?”
Leo Varadkar: “Any given year, it’s about 150 to 200. It’s adopting a somewhat similar approach to that of the Revenue Commissioners, although not going quite as far as they go. They publish settlements, we’ll only publish it if somebody is being convicted in a court of law.”
MacCoille: “Will you publish the details?”
Varadkar: “Obviously, the name and the address and the amount will be published. And also, in addition to that, there’ll be additional penalties for people convicted of welfare fraud. At the moment, sometimes, the penalties are very light. All you have to do is pay back the money the stole which is very unusual. In most fraud cases, you have to pay a penalty as well as pay back the money that was taken. And it will allow us do that.”
Listen back in full here