Public Services Card under fire from Limerick opposition TDs

Mike Finnerty

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Mike Finnerty

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michael.finnerty@limerickleader.ie

Public Services Card under fire from Limerick opposition TDs

An example of the controversial Public Services Card

THE fallout from the Public Services Card scandal has continued to reverberate through Irish discourse.

Fianna Fail’s Spokesperson for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Willie O’Dea TD discussed the controversy.

“Since its introduction, more than €60m  has been spent rolling out the cards,” he noted.

“While the principle of the card has merit, the legal and transparency issues were never addressed by the government,” he said.

“Time and time again, Minister Doherty dismissed these concerns.”

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties said, “The findings are a disaster of the Government’s own making.”

“For years, ICCL has urged the Government to cease the roll-out of the PSC due to human rights concerns. Nonetheless, they continued to demand biometric information in exchange for essential services.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Jobs, Workers’ Rights & Pay Equality, Maurice Quinlivan TD, has said that Minister Regina Doherty “has serious questions to answer” in the wake of the scandal.

“We all remember the claims that the card was 'not compulsory but mandatory' in order to claim social welfare payments,” stated Deputy Quinlivan.

“Yet, at the same time a person could not also either apply for a passport or a driver’s licence without one.”

“The findings are crystal clear - there is no legal obligation to have a PSC to access anything other than a social welfare payment.”

As a result of the handling of the card’s roll-out, the Irish government face a fine of up to €1m for breaching European Union data laws.

“Another day, another serious and expensive blunder by this Fine Gael government,” remarked Deputy Quinlivan.