The much publicised welfare cheats campaign was mistake but it did make savings the head of the Department of Social Protection has claimed.
According to RTE News the current head of the department John McKeon made the claims whilst he being questioned about its effectiveness by opposition TD’s on Thursday.
The highly controversial campaign which actively encouraged the public to report suspected cases of social welfare fraud was introduced earlier this year by the current Taoiseach and the former Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar, caused widespread outrage as many who are receiving social welfare payments felt they were unfairly criticised and discriminated against.
Although the controversial scheme did save the department money Mr McKeon admitted that given its high public profile the introduction of the plan proved to be a disastrous mistake as it targeted many innocent people.
Addressing the issue before an Oireachtas Public Accounts committee Mr McKeon did reveal that it’s introduction did help the state save over €1 million in funding at a cost of €163,000.
However he did state that although the savings were greatly welcomed it did come at a cost as the scheme ultimately proved infeasible given the number of false complaints being made.
He added that the department had learned a lot from its introduction but it ultimately proved to be mistake to enforce such a radical plan.
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