Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, is one of the sponsors of a Private Members’ Bill urging the government to reconsider awarding universal credit recipients a one-off Christmas bonus...
The government currently awards the recipients of nineteen other welfare payments an annual bonus of £10. This payment was introduced in 1972.
The Private Members’ Bill calls on the government not only to make a commitment to extend this bonus to universal credit recipients, but to also uprate the value of the bonus.
The £10 bonus has remained the same since 1972. Forty-seven years ago, this would have been a substantial amount, but in real-terms today, it’s relative value is far lower.
The principle of the Christmas bonus is commendable. It’s a welcome extra cash influx at a time of the year that is notoriously expensive. A commitment to maintaining this bonus long-term would be most welcome, in addition to an increase in its monetary value.
Wera said: ‘It is deeply unfair to award the recipients of nineteen welfare payments a Christmas bonus, but to exclude universal credit. The bonus system should extend to all welfare schemes. The £10 value should be uprated to reflect how much the cost of living has risen over the last half a century. I like the principle of having an annual one-off bonus, but at the moment, the system isn’t fair and needs reform.”
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