Minister Vardakar’s right wing posturing is an insult to working class communities. Hiding behind his false beard claims, it’s not hard to see exactly what he’s about.
The recent high profile advertisement campaign, “Welfare cheats cheat us all” launched by the misnamed Department of Social Protection and their chief of deception, Leo Varadkar, is more than empty posturing by the Tory wannabe; it is a deliberate attempt to negatively portray those members of our society who claim their entitlements to social welfare.
Every taxpayer (and everyone pays tax throughout their lifetime in various ways) contributes to a central fund to provide financial support on occasions when we need it throughout our lives. Children’s allowance, old age pensions, sick pay, disability payments, unemployment benefit and housing benefit all come from a central fund we all contribute to.
Welfare is essentially a progressive policy of a caring society, we call it welfare because most of us are concerned with the welfare of our fellow beings, and we should protect it from this blatant attempt to undermine it. Make no mistake this ‘campaign’ is a precursor and indeed an excuse to justify more neo liberal and draconian cuts to the welfare system.
Minister Varadkar avoids a direct answer and instead indicates that over an undefined period only 21 cases can be identified as alleged identity fraud. There is no indication in this answer that anybody whatsoever engaged in dressing up in fake beards to make fraudulent social welfare claims. The Minister engaged in a childish, right wing, stunt to demean and undermine people who claim welfare, in his attempt to appear more right wing than his rival in a FG leadership farce. It is truly pathetic.
To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons reported and charged with making fraudulent claims for social protection payments by disguising their identity with beards or makeup; and the number of these alleged frauds that were reported to An Garda Síochána for each of the years 2014 to 2016.
– Clare Daly