§ Mr. Cockeram
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans the Government have to pay the Christmas bonus in the current year.
§ Mr. Fowler
The Christmas bonus was introduced in 1972. It was not paid in 1975 and 1976 but in 1979 was made a statutory annual entitlement. A Christmas bonus508W of £10 will therefore be paid this year to people who for the week commencing 28 November are receiving one of the qualifying benefits. It was necessary for this decision to be taken in advance of decisions relating to the November benefit uprating because, for operational reasons pension order books including the Christmas bonus will begin to be issued next week.