Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government Niall Collins TD is to question the Government in the Dáil this week about the alarming number of PPS numbers active within the State.


Deputy Collins obtained information last week revealing that there are approximately 7.2 million PPS numbers on issue within the State, despite the fact that we only have a population of 4.58 million.


“We have over 2.6 million PPS numbers more than we have people living in this country. This is a cause of great concern at a time when we need to do everything in our power to minimise the potential for social welfare fraud and identity theft,” said Deputy Collins.


“The Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan casually revealed these figures last week in the Oireachtas Environment Committee during a debate on the Electoral Amendment Bill. We cannot afford to let this go unaddressed. The fact that we have more than 2.6 million extra PPS numbers provides enormous scope for abuse of the system.


“I intend to raise this issue in the Dáil this week and seek answers from the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton, and the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan. We need to eradicate any possibility of people are using duplicate numbers and gaining double benefits. We also need to find a system to guarantee that PPS numbers are rendered inactive upon people’s death.


“Now more than ever we cannot afford a system that is vulnerable to abuse. I am calling on the Government to clearly explain how in a country with nearly 4.6 citizens we have 7.2 active PPS numbers. I also want them to cut out all the talk on taking a tough stance against social welfare fraud and take a real action to protect the system.”