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Have you any issues with the public services card?

Have you any issues with the public services card?

The Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has defended the introduction of the Public Services Card, stating that the legislation surrounding it hasn’t changed since 2013 and that “this isn’t a new process”.

There is no legal requirement for Irish citizens to hold the card and the government has denied that is it making the card compulsory.

However, while some residents have had them for years, if the government has its way, everyone will need this identity card for everything from doing a driving test to apply for a passport in the near future.

A recent story in the Irish Times detailed how a pensioner in her 70s is owed about €13,000 because she refused to register for the card.

The first mention of a PSC goes back to the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, which was introduced by the Fianna Fáil-led government.

The introduction of the card was tossed about for a number of years before the card finally began to be distributed under the Fine Gael-Labour coalition.

Finally, the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 added provisions that are now cited by the Department of Social Protection as justification for the card.

Defending the roll-out of the card, Doherty said that there is “nothing ambiguous about the legislation”.

Doherty said “It is very clear that the legislation brings in, in the Social Welfare Act, a new standard authentication framework environment which is called Safe,”

She went on to say “At the end of that authentication process, you will get a PSC. It’s a once-off process in which you will give us your data and we as a department can verify that you are who you say you are so that we can give you a once-off experience so that you don’t have to give that information to any other department,”

The personal information provided by a cardholder is date of birth, place of birth, gender, nationalities and surnames. The will be shared with around 50 public services bodies, who are included in the 2013 legislation.

Addressing concerns around the security of information provided by cardholders, Doherty said they have the most robust systems to ensure that the information is secure.

Doherty said the card is not compulsory but it is mandatory for anyone who needs to access welfare from the state.

Essentially they are asking people to authenticate who they are – personally I don’t see the big deal.

Do you have an issue with the public service card?

I spotted one comment online that I think sums up the whole over the top reaction to the card. Have a listen to it –

If you’ve nothing to hide or are not engaged in benefit fraud then you’ve nothing to worry about.

To be honest – I kind of agree with the person.

You give your information to your TV providers, for a  passport, for a drivers licence, to pay any bills, to get a house – so what is the big deal to pooling all of that together on one card for obtaining benefits?

Surely it’s a good solution to tackle social welfare fraud in this country?

Maybe you don’t agree and you are totally against the card?

I want to know what you think – Do you have an issue with the public service card?

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