This may have been proposed on previous threads but:
I would have no problem paying my taxes, or even increasing taxes (God forbid) if I was confident that my hard earned (open to interpretation ) cash was not fraudulently claimed in Social Welfare.
Of the c. €20 Bn we spend on Social Welfare how much is fraudulently claimed?
Lets say 5% or €1 billion is fraud. (Seeing as the department themselves saved 500 million through the detection of fraud in 2008)
2009 » Press Releases » Press Office » Department of Social Protection
We could save this, among other savings by switching social welfare from a cash system to a debit card (or any chip and pin type) system.
Instead of receiving cash into your hand you pay for groceries, school books, clothes, esb, gas etc. with your debit card, (looks exactly the same as any other debit card so people won't feel victimized!)
Before anyone says, 'what about people who get their food from street vendors without card machines?' fear not, you could allow a certain amount of cash to be withdrawn from an atm (say €50 per week) to allow some non-card purchases.
1. Social Welfare cards can be set up so that they do not work abroad, therefore only people in receipt of social welfare who reside in the state can avail of their welfare here.
2. Gov't can track the receipt of all social welfare payments and allowances into the account of each individual providing a joined up system of payment monitoring.
3. It might be be possible to prevent/limit the purchase of alcohol or cigarettes (with the subsequent health benefits) with the use of the card but that would drastically lessen the tax take on those products, and might not go down too well with those who would prefer to spend every penny they receive on those things.
4. The debit card system reduces the cost of operating post offices on Dole day. (Bit of a stretch with that one but anyway!)
5. Social Welfare money is transmitted to the account of an individual allowing revenue/CAB to assess if a person is making money by another means
6. €1 Bn saved means €1 Bn less in tax we have to pay or €1 Bn more available to other budgets (Or to f%@k into the big black bank hole)
1. For 500,000 people on the live register, if the cost per card was, I'm guessing €50 then that's €25million. (I imagine it's less but given our history with rolling anything out in this country!)
2. A bit of hassle
[sits down with a cup of coffee and awaits the arrival of the lynch mob]