The Unaffordable Welfare State


Dutchman gets four years for fraudulently claiming €200,000+ in assorted benefits over seven years. Is this a record sentence for welfare fraud? He can be grateful he didn’t get sent down for a lot longer:

Judge Patricia Ryan set a headline of eight years but reduced this to four years after taking into consideration his plea of guilty, his expressions of remorse and his personal circumstances which include an illness.

Stolk continued to make claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, Rent Allowance, Back to Work Allowance and Back to School Allowance for seven years after leaving the country. He regularly returned to the country, often every two weeks, to claim the payments.

The total amount is large but many others have been convicted of greater amounts and got lighter sentences:

Surely over the seven years in which he perpetrated this fraud, the tireless sleuths of the Department of Social Protection Special Investigations Unit must have been hot on his trail?

Ah, seems not. Once again, it seems the local post office blew the whistle.

Authorities began investigating him in July 2018 when a letter was returned to the Department of Social Protection instead of being redirected and gardaí discovered that the house was in fact empty.


God knows how much money this department is still wasting