Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls Varadkar’s social welfare anti-fraud drive as a State sponsored self- promoting campaign

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Press Release – May 18th, 2017

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Raising the issue of white collar crime during Leaders’ Questions, Deputy Pringle called Varadkar’s latest social welfare anti-fraud drive “a state-sponsored self-promoting campaign” and claims the Minister pays closer scrutiny of minor welfare fraud than to white collar criminals ripping the state by tens of billions.

“This latest classist campaign by Varadkar shows a new level of false facts being used as part of a leadership campaign. He claims half a billion in state savings has resulted from anti-fraud measures but in fact this number has been hugely embellished. The real figure comes to €41m making him €459 million off the mark. I wouldn’t call that a miscalculation but rather a calculating tactic and one he is using to target an already vulnerable population.

“Meanwhile the Government watched tens of billions go unnoticed in suspicious sales within Nama or by banks ripping off customers on their mortgage interest rates yet corporate criminals are not afforded the same level of scrutiny as those targeted in his campaign.

“Ireland loses €2.5 billion a year in corporate crime, money we can only imagine better uses for given the current housing crisis and rising homelessness.

“I’ve called on the Government to get their priorities straight by investing adequate staff and resources in both the Office of Corporate Enforcement and the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation” concludes Pringle.

 

ENDS

 

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