The Christmas Bonus payment is made to long-term social welfare recipients, such as pensioners, carers, people with disabilities, lone parents and long-term unemployed people who rely wholly or mainly on their social welfare payments for financial support.
As is the case every year, the payment of a Christmas Bonus is a discretionary decision made by Government in the context of the annual Budget process and available resources. A decision to pay the bonus this year will be made when announcing the 2020 Budget in October and must be consistent with the legal requirements set out in the Fiscal Responsibility Acts 2012 and 2013, and within the context of achieving targets set for Ireland by the EU rules.
The cost of paying a 100% Christmas Bonus in 2019 is currently estimated at approximately €270 million. This estimate will change and will be revised in the light of trends on the relevant schemes over the coming months.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.