Almost €500 million debt owed in overpaid benefits

The amount of debt owed in overpaid benefits has reached nearly €500 million, according to a new government report.

The Department of Social Protection's most recent figures show debt totalling €482.5 million involving 174 thousand people.

The Irish Examiner says the report, signed off by then Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar, indicates a rise of more than 60 million in the last two years.

Customer fraud and error account for the majority of the overpaid money last year.