§ Mr. Nellist
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how the present level of the Christmas bonus for senior citizens was determined; and at what level it would now stand if it had been up-rated in line with the rise in average earnings since its introduction.
§ Dr. Boyson
The £10 Christmas bonus was first paid in December 1972 as a special once-and-for-all payment as part of a counter inflationary package offered by the Government of the day. The bonus has been subsequently paid annually, except in 1975 and 1976, at the same rate and was made a statutory annual entitlement in 1979. If it had been uprated in line with average earnings since its introduction the bonus would now stand at about £42.