The Government has no intention of discontinuing the Christmas Bonus, Fine Gael's Pat Deering has said.
Deputy Deering said: “I can confirm that Minister Regina Doherty has absolutely no intention of discontinuing the Christmas Bonus for any Social Welfare recipient.
“I know many people have been concerned in recent days following reports in the media regarding discontinuing the Christmas Bonus.
“Some newspapers sought to make waves by suggesting that this was under threat, this is absolutely incorrect.
"As is always the case, there is currently no provision for a Christmas bonus in the Department of Social Protection's allocation for 2018, the decision to pay a Christmas Bonus is made at budget time every year.
“I was contacted by a number of concerned constituents on this issue and I am happy to be in a position to clarify that the Government has absolutely no intention of discontinuing the Christmas Bonus for any Social Welfare recipient."
The Christmas Bonus is an extra payment for people who are getting a long-term social welfare payment. It was paid in late November or early December in 2017.
The Christmas Bonus was 85% of your normal weekly payment in 2017.
He added: "The Christmas Bonus was abolished in 2009 by under the Fianna Fáil Government. As the economy recovered, I was very pleased to see it reinstated by Fine Gael in 2014 at the rate of 25%.
“This was increased to a 75% payment in 2015 and further increased to 85% in 2016 and 2017."