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Christmas Bonus

Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will seek to take steps to make the pensioners' Christmas bonus inflation-proof.

No. The Pensioners' Payments and Social Security Act 1979 already enables a bonus of more than £10 to be paid in future years, if the Secretary of State of the day considers it appropriate, having regard to the economic situation, the standard of living and other relevant matters.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the cost of the Christmas bonus to pensioners; and how many and which categories of pensioners are entitled to receive it.

Over 10 million people in the United Kingdom were entitled to this year's £10 Christmas bonus, at a cost of about £108 million. Those entitled—or treated as entitled—to payment of the following benefits in week beginning 3 December were eligible to receive the bonus:

  • retirement pension
  • invalidity pension
  • widow's allowance
  • widowed mother's allowance
  • widow's pension
  • non-contributory invalidity pension
  • invalid care allowance
  • industrial death benefit—by way of widow's or widower's pension
  • attendance allowance—Including constant attendance allowance under the industrial injuries or war pensions schemes
  • Unemployability supplement or allowance
  • war disablement pension if the pensioner was in receipt of a qualifying benefit or was over pension able age and retired
  • supplementary pension
A further bonus was payable in respect of a spouse over pension able age, if an increase of one of the above benefits was payable in respect of that spouse.