There are roughly 250,000 Irish people in receipt of disability or sickness benefit. The proportion of the population in receipt of disability allowance – the most common disability benefit – has been rising sharply over the last decade. The numbers in receipt of it now exceed 100,000 people.
We also have the lowest level of employment amongst people with disabilities of all 27 EU member states.
What's going on? Are Irish people more prone to disability? Or are people scamming the system? Of course, it can suit governing parties to massage the unemployment figures by shoving some people on to disability benefits.
Also, it wouldn't surprise me if more than a few GPs were happy to obligingly fill in the forms declaring a perfectly but workshy person as being disabled.
I think the Dutch had a problem with this a few years ago. I must look to see what they did - if anything.
Disability benefit expansion adds to workless underclass - The Irish Times - Fri, Jan 25, 2013