Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Social welfare fraud, public-office fraud, and tax evasion. The differing Irish attitudes towards each.

An article in last weekend’s Sunday Times offered food for thought on the authorities’ contrasting attitudes towards social welfare fraud and tax evasion, and the resources dedicated to tackle the respective abuses.

It seems that measures introduced in 2005, giving the State powers to data-match information held on individuals, have resulted in €484 million in welfare savings for the exchequer. The operation is run by 600 civil servants who monitor information on births, deaths and marriages from the General Register Office. I imagine such practices have been standard in other countries for decades.  What is more interesting, however, is the following.

In the last 10 years, according to the same feature, there were 3,183 prosecutions for social welfare fraud in Ireland, resulting in 48 people being jailed for 12 years and fines of €43 million being imposed.   In the same period, only 39 prosecutions for tax evasion resulted in a clawback for the State of €2,250,000 million. 

That is: 3,183 prosecutions = €43 million, against 39 prosecutions = €2.25 billion.   Surprisingly, only 6 tax fraudsters were jailed. 

Then again, given the nature of our rotten little republic it is not surprising at all, is it?  Given that tax “avoidance” by the very wealthy is lauded by much of the general public, who rush to pay homage to the likes of Bono, J.P. McManus, Denis O’Brien, and all the rest of them.  “Ah sure he gives a lot to charity, isn’t he great?”  is the mindset of these ragged-trousered, knuckle-headed, philanthropists.   Evasion is only the next, illegal, step.

And then we have Official Ireland agonising over whether corrupt politicians, who painstakingly plundered the public purse through fraudulent expenses claims, should be prosecuted – or even barred from public office.

We are a nation of no-hopers, and that is the truth. We need to be invaded again.

And this time the  “oppressors” should not leave until the civilisation process is complete.

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anna said...

I quite like that, we 'need'to be invaded again, as a nation we should put out Tenders:
OK, like many Irish women, I have romantic ideas about long haired wild Vikings, my female ancestors thought like wise as my many blonde/ red haired relatives attest,I like Norwegian men, and they are a dab hand at running a decent country, So I nominate another Norwegian invasaion please:
Or maybe the Swiss or Germans might be interested in a fire sale of a battered little country?
By the way a Gene Kerrrigan book of 10 yrs go says one 1 ( yes ONE) company director in the history of the Irish state was ever convicted of fraud:Positive news at last! We can be proud of our company directors, who clearly have impeccable standards.
Also re the above: I was very shocked when Da Bertmeister called for Callery's resignation- I thought there was honour among thieves? Oh well, the difference is - they're Irish. I am sure there will be many more of these entertaining scraps to come, as the Soldiers of Destiny plea bargain to the Irish nation to save their own seats.
Re electorate: 32% of the nation never got more than a basic education( primary /junior cert).From 1922- 1967*(* introduction of free secondary eduction) that figure must have been Much higher- could it have been 70/80/90% in 1922? My dream is that in electoral year 2011, a baying mob holding their Leaving Certs/Degrees/ Diplomas will descend on polling stations to rout our Gombeen politicsns. I hope I'm right.
Otherwise I might have to concede we are becomimg the only nation to proceed along the evolutioanary tree in the opposite direction, backwards.
( Homo Non Sapiens Supine Servilis Hibernia)Shudder...bedtime ...I am suffering from sleep deprivation and resultant hallucinations....Ireland is not that bad...we will be saved..

Anonymous said...

"We are a nation of no-hopers" - well I can certainly think of a certain blogger who certainly fits this bill - i mean Blanchardstown - stop the lights: ;)

Speak for yourself mate.

I think we are a grand little island.


The Gombeen Man said...

It's "grand" alright. For some.

Das.Ding said...

I strongly oppose the idea to let the britains invade us again.
They will not civilize Ireland, they'll just transform it into an enclave of the most un-free police state in Europe.

Dakota said...

@Das Ding 07:41 They wouldn't waste their time.

"One" of the problems in Ireland was a mixed up attitude towards and understanding of, civilisation. Now thats not saying they were (OR ARE) unique in this, but when you're suck on a small island it heightens the effects. In a way its fascinating - in an unsetteling way - how the myth of civility is perpetuated in Ireland. In a way that was - and is - the real achievement of the Irish (especially in the ROI) that a self perpetuating myth is excepted as fact. In other words, and to use the vernacular, its a mad place with a very strange atmosphere.

Dakota said...

GM please correct the word suck to stuck.

The Gombeen Man said...

Hiya D. I can't actually edit comments, so we'll just take that as said.

Mind you, sometimes it does indeed suck being stuck in our green, unpleasant, land!

Dakota said...

Yep it sucks alrighttttt.... Hey and Dublin is the capital, enough to make you weep..............Problem is, it seems to be getting worse.

oh and your observation about the very wealthy paying no tax, is on the money (so to speak) Mr Bono and co are laughing all the way to their foreign bank. While the mugs pay for bank execs to go and play golf in luxury..... Priceless (soon to be taxed, also - the priceless part that is...)

Leo @10:20 eh yeah whatever you say........Grand, LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Thanks, for the laugh. Are we on the same island???????

Dakota said...

Oh meant to say to Leo yeah lots of lights alright but there nearly all false. To use the lighthouse analogy if dear old Oireland was a lighthouse, salvaging would be the next boom....LOL.... Oh the Emereald Isle.....