THE Christmas bonus has been partially restored to more than 1.2 million pensioners, carers and the long-term unemployed.
The move, announced by the government in the Budget, will see welfare recipients receive payments of between €47-€112 depending on their circumstances.
Tanaiste Joan Burton confirmed the partial restoration just days after it was initially flagged as being on the Budget table by Independent.ie The cost of the restoration is in the region of €65m – but retail groups say they believe a substantial chunk of this will be used to buy Christmas presents.
The payment, made to recipients this week, will see a parent with two children who is in receipt of the One Parent Family allowance receive a bonus of €61.90.
And a jobseeker with a dependent partner and two dependent will be paid a bonus of €93.10.
Payment of the Christmas bonus was abolished in 2009 as part of a round of public service cutbacks.
But on Wednesday, 112,000 people in receipt of disability allowance will get a bonus of 25pc of their standard payment.
On Thursday, over 53,000 people in receipt of invalidity pensions, and 58,000 getting carer’s allowance are due to receive an increased payment.
People on Gateway, Community Employment, and related schemes will also be eligible.
And more than 575,000 recipients of the State contributory and non-contributory pension, along with those getting widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s contributory pension will get their bonus on Friday.
“I am particularly pleased to partially restore the payment this year to all long-term welfare recipients," said Tanaiste and Social Protection Minister, Joan Burton.
“It will help these people to meet some of the additional costs around the Christmas season,” she added.