Social benefits abuse totaled €16,653,694 in four years

Social benefits abuse between January and October 2014 reached €3,057,312

3,005 individuals were caught abusing of social security benefits between 2010 and October 2014, Social Solidarity Minister Michael Farrugia said.

In reply to a parliamentary question raised by Nationalist MP Clyde Puli, Farrugia said the abuse cost taxpayers €16,653,694.

According to the budget speech, a total of €870 million will be allocated for social security benefits during 2015, with beneficiaries totalling 140,000 individuals.

In parliament last week, Farrugia said the government was set to save over €3 million in social benefits abuse after 724 beneficiaries were stopped. He said that 1,281 inspections yielded 724 cases of abuse while other cases were still being investigated.

The €870 million cover invalidity pensions, retirement pensions, bonus, widows’ pensions, short-term benefits, children’s allowance, old age pensions, disability pension, social assistance, medical assistance, bonus, supplementary assistance and child supplement benefit.

Year            Number of Persons            Amount

2010            677                                    €3,716,295

2011            742                                    €3,661,150

2012            548                                    €2,827,459

2013            565                                    €3,391,478

2014*            473                                    €3,057,312


*as at end of October