‘Politicians Don’t Cook Things Up, Cormac’

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Minister for Employment Regina Doherty

This morning.

On Today with Sean O’Rourke, presented by Cormac Ó hEadhra.

Fine Gael TD and Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty spoke about the story on the front page in today’s Irish Times in which it’s reported that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will not name and shame “welfare fraudsters”.

And that, under a compromise deal with Fianna Fáil, only people found guilty of defrauding the State of welfare payments in excess of €5,000 will be named in a public register.

From Ms Doherty’s interview with Cormac Ó hEadhra…

Regina Doherty: “Let me be very clear, lest you think that we’re going soft on anybody that’s defrauding the State of money and taking money out of other peoples’ pockets is acceptable. There’s no defrauding of the State that’s acceptable and we will pursue people in the courts that has not changed one jot.

“What has changed here is that a piece of legislation that we were hoping to introduce has been reached a compromise so the piece of legislation can be passed. And the Fianna Fail party, on foot of the proposal to me, to make an amendment so that instead of starting at zero, we will start at six months of somebody defrauding the State even though that person, at five and a half months, three and a half months, whatever length of time that has been taken, the department has saw fit to take a criminal case against somebody, the police has saw fit to take a criminal case against somebody, that will still pursue. The only thing that changed…”

Cormac Ó hEadhra: Where did that €5,000 figure come from? Is it based on any research whatsoever? Or is it something that yourself and Fianna Fail cooked up?

Doherty: “Well, first of all, I take offence at the fact that. Politicians don’t cook things up, Cormac, when we’re putting legislation together for the good of the people….

Later

Doherty: “Can I be very clear? Customer fraud is defined in statute from €1 to whatever it happens to be, some of the recent cases you can see of €60,000, €160,000, €7,000. There is nobody who is defrauding the State in any shape or form or size of money that is acceptable. Because what it does, Cormac, is it takes the capacity of the department and me as the minister remove money from being able to distribute that money to vulnerable people who actually need it. So there is no level of acceptable fraud.”

Meanwhile…

The Meath Chronicle reported last night:

The National Union of Journalists has called on the Minister for Employment and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, to clarify her role in the decision of members of An Garda Síochána to interview a freelance blogger and academic about comments written by the blogger about Ms Doherty.

Acting General Secretary of the NUJ in UK and Ireland, Séamus Dooley, also called on the Garda Commissioner to urgently clarify the circumstances in which Catherine Kelly was approached by Gardai from Pearse Street Garda Station and interviewed about tweets which it is understood referred to Ms Doherty.

NUJ asks Minister Doherty to clarify role in Tweet investigation (Meath Chronicle)

Previously: Chilling

Listen back here

18 thoughts on “‘Politicians Don’t Cook Things Up, Cormac’

  1. MoyestWithExcitement

    “Let me be very clear, lest you think that we’re going soft on anybody that’s defrauding the State of money and taking money out of other peoples’ pockets is acceptable.”

    Because they got REAL tough on the main players un the finance industry who stole millions from us. Incompetent gombeens. That’s the Irish right. And the right in general.

    1. Steve

      They did. They jailed 3 Anglo bankers and the DPP tried to jail Seanie but the case collapsed because it’s not illegal to warehouse loans.

  2. Worried Voter

    Fine Gael are pitiful instead of solving problems they always resort to cooking things up, real bean counter mentality of trying to make the problem go away by playing with the figures and doing nothing about the actual problem!!

    Look at how they try to solve unemployment problem they simply reclassify half of them through schemes such as jobbridge etc and suddenly people who still dont have a job are not unemployed anymore.

    Now the USC wil be abolished by merging it with PRSI problem solved right!! They are really pathetic and we need an election to get rid of them before they do more damage!!

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Oh god no! You can’t be asking politicians questions that they haven’t given you in advance!

  3. Sheik Yahbouti

    It would appear that this Minister (failed business person; defaulter on creditors; tax avoider, and now subverter of our police and justice apparatus) can add ‘inability to speak basic English’ to her list of stellar achievements.

    1. anne

      So she wasn’t very clear then it seems. I’ve found that anyone who ever utters the words “let me be clear” is a jumped up ladypart.

  4. Joe cool

    Em Regina. Do you send 2 Detectives to Dublin airport to put the frightners on someone?

    1. Anomanomanom

      No no she didnt, I say knowing fupp all about, but its near impossible to believe the version of the story we read on BS.

  5. stephen

    Customer fraud? I thought she was talking about social welfare fruad. If they are talking about defrauding the state, could a tribunal be a method of defrauding the state?

  6. Fact Checker

    Sensible measure.

    Punishment is more proportionate to the sin, and less of an admin burden on those who have to compile these lists.

Comments are closed.