Experts in the field say the fear of retaliation has led to claims by plaintiffs against social welfare inspectors.
The government says social welfare inspectors can visit homes and workplaces to “ensure compliance.”
InquiryThis week found that many women who received single-parent payments reported being harassed, “followed” and “threatened” by social welfare inspectors. Many ask how inspectors go through their wardrobes and how they pay for items such as baby clothes and sky television packages.
Many womenInspectors have repeatedly said that they would lose their social welfare payments if they entered into a relationship: “Do you expect us to pay for your lifestyle?” Other comments made by women made them “inferior and” worthless.
The number of complaints has remained steady since 2012, with only 18 cases filed against inspectors. In 2014, that number was eight, and continued to rise. In 2018, 19 complaints were registered, and in 2019 there was an increase of 31 – the highest number ever recorded.
People in the area say the number of complaints is low due to fear of retaliation and hostile attitude from those working in social welfare.
Joe Wheelen, a lecturer in Applied Social Studies at UCC, has been researching the social welfare system for many years. He said he would be surprised if the number of complaints continued to rise.
“Ana mal has a reluctance to complain formally or formally because it affects them adversely … we call this ‘impression management’ and try to be a ‘good’ welfare recipient so you don’t shake the boat,” he said.
“I’m not surprised it’s low, I’m surprised if it’s high, people are very reluctant to file complaints … it’s a sense or feeling of how you are being treated, you are being examined too much, it’s a systemic issue, it comes with a particular kind of culture.”
The Irish National Organization of the Unemployed Brad O’Brien said: “TheThe report echoes a lot about what might happen to our legal services, whether it’s single parents or people with disability payments, ” I do not believe, I’m not good ‘is very popular. “
The Department of Social Welfare said in a statement that it rejects the suggestion that filing a complaint could affect a consumer’s claim, rights, or interaction with them in the future.
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