Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Public Accounts Committee

2018 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 37 - Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Chapter 12 - Regularity of Social Welfare Payments
Chapter 13 - Timeliness of Income Support Claim Processing
Chapter 14 - Customer Service - Development of Income Support Application Forms

9:00 am

Mr. John McKeon:

We have gone to court in some of these cases and generally what one will find when one goes to court is the judge tends to come down on the side of the little guy rather than the big guy. That is understandable. We have discussed this here previously. A lot of people have overpayments not because they were defrauding the Department but because there were genuine mistakes either by them or the by the Department. I think we have to be reasonable in those circumstances because many of them are still on social welfare payments.