Minister announces details of largest ever Christmas bonus
THE Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, has announced details of the largest ever Christmas bonus.
The Christmas bonus will be paid to over 1.6 million recipients in the week beginning December 7, with payments totalling €390 million.
As in previous years, the 100% Christmas bonus will be paid to long-term social welfare recipients such as pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents.
On an exceptional basis this year, the Christmas bonus will also be paid to recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) provided they have been in receipt of a PUP payment - continuously or otherwise - for at least four months (17 weeks) since March.
It’s estimated that 311,270 people who have been on the PUP will receive the Christmas bonus, totally over €93 million.
This means that approximately 90% of PUP recipients (currently 350,000) are in line to receive a Christmas bonus.
Announcing the record Christmas bonus, Minister Humphreys urged people to spend it locally in order to support small businesses.
She said: “Christmas brings many extra financial pressures and I am particularly pleased to provide a 100% Christmas bonus this year for over 1.6 million people.
“I would strongly encourage people to spend their Christmas bonus locally this year and support our local shops and businesses in our towns and villages throughout the country. This will be a €390 million injection into the Irish economy at a time when many small businesses will be reopening their doors as restrictions are eased.”
Minister Humphreys also stressed that people on PUP who are returning to work next week will still receive the Christmas bonus:
“As an exceptional measure this year, people who are receiving PUP or another Jobseeker’s payment for four months or longer will receive the bonus. There are many individuals and families who have lost their job or business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and have been out of work for several months now. The bonus will help to ease the financial burden on them at this very difficult time.
“Any person in receipt of PUP for any one day from Friday, November 27, to Thursday, December 3, can rest assured that they will still receive the Christmas bonus payment on Tuesday, December 8, as long as they also meet the 17-week requirement.
“I wanted to ensure that people who returned to work next week following the easing of restrictions did not miss out on the bonus payment.”