Why is Tax Default Treated Move Favourably than Welfare Fraud? – Penrose

06 July 2017

Labour spokesperson on Social Protection Willie Penrose TD has questioned the agreement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael on the limit for publication of social welfare fraud cases. For tax defaulters, only cases above €30,000 are published. Deputy Penrose has said one class of case should not be treated differently to another.

Deputy Penrose said:

“The new Minister for Social Protection sought the views of opposition parties on the draft Social Welfare and Pensions Bill, which we still haven’t seen the final version of.

“When I met with the Minister, I told her that if she was intent on proceeding with this measure that she should only publish those cases dealing with sums of over €30,000.

“This is the lower publication limit for tax defaulter cases. Under Section 1086 of the Taxes Consolidation Act only cases of tax default of over €30,000 are published.

“I put this to the Minister, and I fail to see why one class of case should be treated differently to another. I am also surprised that Fianna Fáil are happy to treat tax defaulters better than those charged with welfare fraud.

“I will be bringing forward an amendment to the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill to reflect this.

“I also hope that the Minister has taken on board my view that the proposal to allow the Minister to punish further those convicted of fraud should be removed from the Bill as it is unconstitutional. Head 5 had proposed to allow the Minister to reduce payments by up to 25% for 9 weeks for those convicted.

“It is important that the Bill is subject to careful scrutiny in the Oireachtas and one anticipates that the Minister would be willing to accommodate sensible amendments in this regard.”

ENDS

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