Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has launched a new two-year initiative to tackle social welfare fraud.

It will involve greater inter-agency cooperation between public bodies to combat abuse of the social welfare system, a greater presence of social welfare inspectors on the ground and targeting sectors where fraud is more likely to occur.

In the first seven months of the year, social welfare control measures have resulted in savings of €345m after department officials reviewed 350,000 cases.

The Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed said the constant references to social welfare fraud affects jobseekers' self-confidence and self-belief.

Reacting to the latest anti-fraud initiative from the Dept of Social Protection, John Stuart of the INOU said they are really concerned about references to social welfare fraud and the perceptions associated with it.

He said the vast majority of jobseekers are properly in receipt of those payments and that jobseekers are really anxious at the moment as they desperately try and find work.