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Will there be a 2020 Christmas bonus? No decision's been made yet

Pearse Doherty said Christmas comes every year, yet the bonus hasn’t been factored into spending.

Image: Shutterstock/alexat25

NO DECISION HAS been made about whether the social welfare Christmas bonus will be awarded in December 2020, according to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. 

Speaking before the Budgetary Oversight Committee about the government’s Summer Economic Statement, the minister said: “We have not made a decision yet as what will happen in December 2020.” 

He faced questions on the issue from Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty, who said the government’s figures did not take into the account the Christmas bonus.

Doherty told the minister that “Christmas comes every year” yet the bonus hasn’t been factored into spending.

“The government is saying it will have €700 million to spend in the upcoming budget after public sector pay increases are taken into account. But this doesn’t take account of the Christmas Bonus or the health overrun which will immediately wipe out that €700 million,” said Doherty, who added that the government had failed to take account of the criticisms of both the Fiscal Advisory Council and the ESRI.

The finance minister said the government has not made any decisions yet as to what will be in Budget 2020, and that the Summer Economic Statement only sets out the level of resources that are available to government. 

While Donohoe said no decision on the 2020 bonus has been made yet, he did add that if he is still the finance minister in October 2020, he expects there will be a Christmas bonus. 

He added that it is his “track record” to pay a Christmas bonus each year. 

About 1.2 million social welfare recipients received the bonus last year. 

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