Low income families deserve Christmas clarity – Howlin

28 September 2016

Labour Party leader and Wexford TD, Brendan Howlin, has called on the Government to provide clarity on whether or not the Christmas Bonus will be paid this year. The payment was partially restored over the last two years, with a 75% Christmas Bonus paid to all social welfare recipients last year. However in his response to Deputy Howlin in the Dáil today, the Taoiseach wouldn’t confirm if the payment would go ahead this year.

Speaking after Leaders’ Questions, Deputy Howlin said “Ten weeks ago, Leo Varadkar announced that he would seek Government support to pay a Christmas bonus this year. But last week, Paschal Donohoe announced there would be no further supplementary budgets provided this year.

“I raised this matter in the Dáil today to give the Taoiseach a chance to give clarity and certainty to families on the lowest incomes, so they would be able to plan for Christmas. Instead, he refused to give any clarification on this whatsoever.

“Any failure to pay the Christmas bonus this year would amount to a new cut to welfare rates, and cannot be allowed to stand. The Labour Party will continue to raise this issue until such time as the Government gives people an honest answer as to how much of a Christmas bonus they can expect to receive.”

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