Over a million people to get Christmas bonus
OVER a million people will benefit from the increase to the Christmas bonus this year.
Some 1.23 million people on social welfare payments - including lone parents, pensioners and the long-term unemployed - will get an increased payment of 75pc of their standard weekly payment. That's up from just 25pc last year and will be worth an extra €197m to recipients.
The size of the bonus will vary depending on the basic social welfare payment and the number of dependants a recipient has.
The payment will be worth €173 to a single pensioner on a contributory State pension and €164 to someone on a non-contributory pension.
Jobseekers who have been out of work for over a year on the full weekly rate will get a bonus of €141, while a lone parent with one child will get an extra €163.
For carers the value of the bonus will range from €153 up to €242 for those with four children.
The payout of nearly €200m will be completed by December 8, said Tánaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton.
Only jobseekers who have been on benefits for more than a year will be entitled to the payment.
Ms Burton said she remembered the importance of this bonus payment to her own extended family and she said that it would also benefit communities.
"The Christmas bonus is a welcome assistance to many groups at a financially stressful time of year," she said.
"It is spent in the local economy, in local businesses and stores, providing a stimulus to communities across the country."
This payment was reinstated last year after an absence of five years, but is being increased from 25pc of the weekly payment to 75pc for the coming year.