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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 24 July, 2019
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Could the Christmas Bonus be restored in next month's Budget?

The Tánaiste wasn’t ruling it out when asked today.

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Stock photo
Image: Shutterstock

TÁNAISTE JOAN BURTON has not ruled out the possibility that the Christmas Bonus could be resorted in next month’s Budget in the wake of better than expected economic figures today.

With the latest CSO data showing the economy growing by 7.7 per cent in the year to end of June, the government is now considering what measures could be introduced to help hard-pressed taxpayers after years of austerity.

The Christmas Bonus was a once-off end of year payment for elderly people, carers and long-term social welfare recipients that was abolished by the Fianna Fáil government in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis.

The bonus has not been restored by the curent government with Taoiseach Enda Kenny saying last year that “the money is not there”.

Its restoration would cost an estimated €260 million and Burton wasn’t ruling it out when asked about it today: “This is for discussion but there are no decisions made at this stage.”

Speaking at an event in central Dublin she added that “all of the areas of expenditure will be looked at” in the run-up to the Budget on 15 October.

Burton said that the “iconic” free travel scheme is secured and will not be touched in the Budget and said more broadly that as conditions improve “it would be nice to see certain areas being addressed”.

“I can’t make any commitments at this point in time but it is something following today’s figures where, as all of these better figures emerge, there’s no doubt there’s a little bit of extra leeway. But we can’t lose the run of ourselves,” she added.

Last year: ‘The money is not there’: Taoiseach rules out restoration of Christmas bonus

Noonan: Economy will grow even more than we thought this year – but austerity isn’t over

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Hugh O'Connell

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