Measure could crack down on social welfare fraud
Fine Gael Limerick TD, Patrick O’Donovan, has today (Monday) called for a change to be made to the vehicle registration system to require any person who is buying a new car to provide their PPS number. Deputy O’Donovan said the change could help to crack down on social welfare fraud. He raised the issue in a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan.
“I think this a common sense idea that could help to crack down on social welfare fraud. Most people on social welfare wouldn’t have the means to buy a new car. Under my proposal, anyone buying a new car would be required to produce their PPS number and the Department of Finance would then be notified of the transaction. This would help to identify large purchases that wouldn’t be the norm for those on limited incomes.
“While the vast majority of people in receipt of social welfare payments badly need them, there is an issue of people trying to defraud the system. We need to track down these individuals to ensure support is being given to those who genuinely need it.
“Minister Noonan has informed me that when someone goes to register a car in their own name they need to supply their PPS number. But as the majority of vehicles are registered by third parties, like motor dealers, the Minister said there could be data protection issues about PPS numbers being required in that context.
“However, the Minister added that consideration is being given to include car buying data in the information that is exchanged between various Government bodies and departments in a bid to crack down on fraud. I understand that Revenue and the Department of Social Protection already exchange significant information and I would encourage the Minister to consider my proposal in the context of expanding these arrangements.”