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Govt reforms welfare rules to stop 'fake poor scandal'

Greater monitoring for revenue agency, fewer self-declarations

03 December, 13:52
Govt reforms welfare rules to stop 'fake poor scandal' (ANSA) - Rome, December 3 - The Italian government on Tuesday approved a new procedure for evaluating those in need of government assistance, aimed at making it tougher for people to fraudulently collect benefits. "It aims to halt the scandal of fake poor people," said Premier Enrico Letta. The reform decree puts a greater emphasis on monitoring the value of assets and reduces the amount of property exemptions. It also requires revenue authorities to evaluate assistance applications more carefully and to depend less on applicants' self-declared income and property. Finance police in Italy routinely crack down on people living lavish lifestyles found to be collecting assistance benefits from the government, taking a huge toll on Italy's public services. In 2012 police cited 9,632 people for false social security and welfare claims costing the State coffers 103 million euros.

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