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John Brady TD calls for immediate suspension of Public Services Card roll out

22 February, 2018 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, John Brady TD, has called for the immediate suspension of the roll-out of the Public Services Card.

Speaking having engaged with the Department at Committee today, Teachta Brady said:

“The Public Services Card debacle continued at Committee today with more questions than answers from Department officials.

“The investigation launched by the Data Protection Commissioner into the cards is underway and while, this continues, roll out of the cards should be suspended.

“The officials informed the Committee that over 4,000 travel passes have been withdrawn under the Travel Pass Scheme due to a failure to register for SAFE 2.

“They also advised that about 450 social welfare payments had been suspended due to lack of engagement with the service.

“On both figures, the officials attempted to assure the Committee that this lack of engagement was not down to objections with the card, and instead cited cases where people were living abroad. 

"Again, this was not backed up with any actual figures or evidence.

“When it comes to the number of complaints made to the Department as regards having to apply for the card, all the official could say was there were 'very few' complaints  before admitting that he did not actually know the figures.

“The contract in place with the Public Services Card supplier ran out at the end of last year and despite, an additional year initiated for 2018 under EU law, the contract is no longer in place and therefore, the Government are in a position to suspend any further issuing of cards. 

"I call on them to do so, until at the very least, the Data Protection investigation concludes.”

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