Wicklow Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris TD said: “I am pleased to say that the full Christmas Bonus will be paid to social welfare recipients in Wicklow the week beginning 7th December. This year, due to the challenges of COVID-19, the Christmas bonus will also be paid to recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
“This was confirmed to me by my colleague the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, who has announced the details of the largest ever Christmas Bonus.
“As always, people on long term social welfare benefits such as pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and lone parents will receive the 100% Christmas bonus.
“Those who have been in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) continuously or otherwise – for at least 4 months (17 weeks) since March will also receive the Christmas Bonus this year.
“Minister Humphreys has also taken care to ensure that anyone returning to work next week as restrictions ease, will not be excluded from the Christmas Bonus. Any person in receipt of PUP for any one day from Friday 27th November to Thursday 3rd December will still receive the Christmas Bonus provided they also meet the 17 week requirement. So anyone returning to work this Monday or Tuesday will still receive the Christmas Bonus as they worked at least one day during the said period.
“The same criteria is also being applied to those on Jobseeker’s payments, who in previous years would have only received the Bonus if they had been out of work for at least 15 months”, Minister Harris concluded.
Announcing the record Christmas Bonus, Minister Humphreys urged people to spend it locally in order to support small businesses: “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.”