People have been going to pretty far extremes in order to claim fraudulent welfare payments, Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has revealed today.
The Irish Examiner reports that the minister said some people are even using make-up and fake beards in order to claim the money.
Mr Varadkar was speaking today at the launch of a new advertising campaign which aims to encourage people to report knowledge of people they suspect are illegally claiming social benefits.
“Members of the public play a vital role as whistleblowers. Last year some 20,800 allegations of alleged social welfare fraud were dealt with by the Department", he said.
“These are investigated and where warranted, payments are reduced or stopped and, in some cases, claimants are prosecuted. Overall, a range of anti-fraud and control measures in the Department of Social Protection saved taxpayers over €500m last year.”
In 2016 over €14 million in Jobseeker's Allowance was overpayed due to suspected welfare fraud.