Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (359)

Jim Daly

Question:

359. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection the savings made by her Department for 2012 and 2013 by way of welfare control measures; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5548/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department’s control work is measured in terms of control savings. Control savings are used as a performance indicator for year-on-year activities and are an estimate of the value of the various control activities across the schemes in payment. They refer to future expenditure that would have been incurred but for this control work. Without this control work the social welfare expenditure would over time increase by this amount.

The vast majority of people on social welfare are claiming the correct entitlement due to them. However, a small minority is not and a range of measures are employed by the Department to ensure that social welfare fraud and abuse is minimised and that its control activity is appropriately focused. In this regard, fraud detection and control systems have been refined and enhanced in recent years and are subject to continuing review. Overall, this is resulting in less opportunity to commit fraud and less chance of claims being in payment at an incorrect rate through fraud or error.

Approximately 1.1 million reviews were carried out in both 2012 and 2013. The control savings achieved in 2012 were €669m and in 2013 were €632m. This outcome demonstrates that the Department’s more intense control focus in recent years is having a positive impact on the level of fraud and error in the social welfare system.

Question No. 360 answered with Question No. 302.
Questions Nos. 361 and 362 withdrawn.