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Social Welfare Benefits

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 21 January 2021

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Questions (223)

Steven Matthews


223. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will investigate the situation faced by a small cohort of workers who have been out of work since March 2020 (details supplied); and if their case will be reviewed. [3072/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Last year, the Christmas Bonus was paid to over 1.6 million eligible customers in the week beginning 7th December at an estimated cost of €389 million. The respective figures in 2019 were 1.2 million customers and €279 million.

On an exceptional basis, the Christmas Bonus was also paid to recipients of the PUP provided that they had been in receipt of the payment - continuously or otherwise - for at least 4 months (17 weeks) since March. Any person in receipt of the PUP for any one day of the period Friday 27th November to Thursday 3rd December received the Christmas Bonus payment provided they also met the 17 week requirement. Approximately 284,000 people or 82% of those receiving the PUP received the Christmas Bonus, at a cost of almost €84 million.

The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme administered by the Revenue Commissioners was not a scheme that was considered for the Christmas Bonus payment as the beneficiaries were not in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment and therefore any weeks where employees were supported through this scheme were not counted towards the exceptional 17 week eligibility condition.

I hope that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.