Sir, - Last week we had the news of the large increase in tax revenue. This, combined with the recent report by the Controller and Auditor General on the level of uncollected taxes, has managed to allow the recent revelation of the huge scale of social welfare fraud to go unnoticed.

Within a week of the revelation of the massive fraud, we had a litany of excuses to justify the need of people to work and claim social welfare. One of the big culprits was, of course, the employers. There are employers who will abuse the system, yet the Revenue Commissioners have the huge level of power to catch those who abuse the system.

Let us call fraud what it really is, theft. It is the same as someone stealing money from your bank account. From the recent moves by the Department of Social Welfare over the last few years, it has become extremely easy to cheat the system. For many, it is only necessary to sign on once a week and it would seem that no proof of looking for a job is required. With such a lax system, it is rife to be abused.

In light of the massive increase in the level of people claiming social welfare payments, it is time to make sure that abuse is clamped down. - Yours, etc.,

South Circular Road,

Dublin 8.