The Public Services Card Has Cost €60 Million And Saved Less Than €2 Million

AN SIONNACH FIONN

The Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection, which was established in the Oireachtas late last year, has held its first meeting on the expanded use of the innocuously named Public Services Card (PSC). Over the last several years the controversial PSC has developed into a national ID card in all but name, its use made obligatory across a number of government departments and agencies. This, supposedly, was not the intent of the system when it was rushed into law back in 2011 by the outgoing Fianna Fáil minister, Éamon Ó Cuív. However, even at the time, many critics of the legislation correctly predicted that it would become the thin edge of a Big Brother wedge, with a negative impact on the rights of citizens when dealing with the State. (Ironically the greatest enthusiasm for the new regulations was shown by the centre-left Labour Party, particularly under its former…

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