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Joan Burton Photocall Ireland
Hidden economy

Burton sets sights on policing hidden economy sector

The Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said there would be “concerted and active policing of the hidden economy sector.”

THE MINISTER FOR Social Protection Joan Burton has said that her department will focus on policing the hidden economy where social welfare fraud and abuse are prevalent.

Burton met with a group of “high-level” officials from the Department of Social Protection and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners today and laid out plans to tackle tax non-compliance and social welfare fraud.

She said she was committed to putting in place a plan that would see strategic response to sectors where such problems were prevalent as well as ensure an integrated approach across her department’s services.

The minister said that a key corporate priority of this year was to tackle the risk that is inherent in hidden economy activity.

She said:

Policing what is conventionally viewed as hidden economy activity is as much about ensuring a level playing field for compliant businesses as it is about detecting tax non-compliance and social welfare fraud.

Burton added that so-called Joint Investigation Units (JIUs) between the Revenue Commissioners, her department and the National Employment Rights Authority would play a key role in targeting such hidden economy activity.

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