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‘Welfare cheats’ a disgraceful slur on immigrants

YOUR columnist Ivan Yates’s post-budget commentary headlined ‘A move in the right direction’ (December 10) contained a disgraceful slur against migrants in Ireland.

The article referred to a recent Prime Time Investigates programme and stated, without qualification, that migrants carried dual identities and were falsely using other people’s PPS numbers fraudulently to claim social welfare. The choice of words used in the article implies all migrants are social welfare cheats. This is grossly offensive, unfair and inflammatory.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland deplores social welfare fraud, whoever commits it. We also condemn irresponsible commentary that singles out one group and condemns all members of that group for the actions of the few.

The vast majority of migrants, just like the vast majority of Irish, do not cheat the system. A significant number of migrants who are eligible for social welfare choose not to apply for it, knowing it may debar them from becoming Irish citizens in the future.

A minority of migrants, just like a minority of Irish, cheat the system.

Social welfare fraud should be prosecuted and steps taken to prevent it so that the taxes the Government raises, from migrant and Irish workers alike, are used to provide services for those who need them most.

Denise Charlton

CEO Immigrant Council of Ireland

St Andrew Street

Dublin 2


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