1.2m social-welfare recipients to receive Christmas bonus this week

1.2m social-welfare recipients to receive Christmas bonus this week

The 1.2 million people in receipt of social welfare payments are set to receive their Christmas bonus in the coming week.

The Department of Social Welfare has confirmed the bonus of 25% of the payment will be paid out to all long-term welfare recipients over the coming days.

The bonus is paid to pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, lone parents, and long-term jobseekers.

The partial restoration of the bonus was announced in Budget 2015 in November at a cost of €65m.

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said: “It will help these people to meet some of the additional costs around the Christmas season.”

The end-of-year payment, which was abolished under Fianna Fáil during the financial crisis in 2009, will be paid to all long-term welfare recipients.

It means a pensioner couple, both on the State pension of €219 each per week, will receive an extra €109.50. A lone parent who gets the weekly €247.60 One Parent Family benefit will receive a bonus of €61.90 and someone who has been unemployed for over 15 months and who has a partner and two children will have €93.10 added to their €372.40 Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Ms Burton said the payment was a sign of economic recovery and a way of recognising the position of vulnerable households.

She added: “The reintroduction of the bonus on a partial basis, along with the other welfare measures announced in the budget are real indicators of the economic recovery and the Government’s ambition to ensure it will be a recovery felt by all.

“This is the first budget where we have had the scope to make real positive progress for welfare recipients.

“We are using the economic dividend from the recovery to invest in sustainable growth, in families and communities and in vital public services.”

Minister of State Kevin Humphreys said: “After several years of tough budgets we have been able to put money back in people’s pockets. This will help families with the costs of Christmas, and support real jobs in the local economy. People have made huge sacrifices and we recognise that effort.”


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