Thursday, 23 June 1983
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Taylor: asked the Minister for Social Welfare if officers of his Department have carried out any inspections at forest centres in County Wicklow in 1983 for the purpose of ascertaining if contractors involved in the extraction of State timber were employing a labour force, some members of which were in receipt  of social welfare benefits; the number of employees who were insured persons; the number not on the PRSI list on the date of inspection; and the number then in receipt of social welfare benefits.
Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Following the receipt of complaints that a number of persons engaged in the felling of timber in forests in County Wicklow were also in receipt of unemployment assistance or benefit, officers of my Department carried out inspections in those forests during the month of May 1983.
The purpose of the inspections was to ascertain whether there was any substance in the complaints received regarding persons working while in receipt of benefit and also whether contractors involved in the extraction of timber were complying with the provisions of the Social Welfare Acts in relation to the payment of pay related social insurance contributions.
A total of 127 persons were interviewed during the course of the inspections. Inquiries in the matter are still proceeding and, pending the completion of the inquiries, it is not possible to supply the detailed information requested by the Deputy.
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