Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has called on Minister Leo Varadkar to immediately end his dishonest welfare fraud campaign.
This comes as a reply from Minister Varadkar to a Parliamentary Question from Sinn Féin has identified only one case of identity fraud in 2017.
Teachta Brady said:
“Minister Varadkar based this campaign on mistruths, assumptions and silly notions about false beards.
“This campaign was nothing more than an opportunity to launch his leadership bid at the expense of some of the most vulnerable people in society.
“On numerous occasions Minister Varadkar has referred to ‘doppelgangers’ and people ‘wearing make-up and beards’ as a means of defrauding the State. Yet, he is unable to identify one shred of proof that this has ever even happened.
“In fact, the Minister’s reply goes on to state that when it comes to the use of disguises ‘the Department does not record, and thereby, does not hold data on any attempts of this nature’.
“So far this year, there has been one suspected case of identity fraud identified by the Department of Social Protection. This hardly amounts to the millions of euro in savings Minister Varadkar talked of achieving through this campaign.
“If Minister Varadkar does go on to become Taoiseach, he will give Enda Kenny a run for his money with his imaginary tales.”