Treasury is aiming to restore its winter bonus in time for payments to be made to those who qualify for it in January 2024.

Government halted the bonus due to the addition of energy support payments being distributed.

Minister Alex Allinson was asked in the House of Keys sitting on Tuesday why the winter bonus had been suspended and how long that suspension would last.

He said: ‘Legislative provision for the winter bonus for this January was temporarily suspended with Tynwald’s approval.

‘This was because of the targeted financial support given by way of the energy support payments paid in April, October and December 2022.

‘As things stand it’s Treasury’s intention the legislative provision for the winter bonus will be restored in time for payments to be made to qualifying persons in January 2024.’

Douglas North MHK David Ashford explained that this emerged properly during the Budget process. He asked if the minister would accept the suspension was ‘very short notice’ for people expecting to receive the payment.

‘There is a small section of the community that actually rely on that, even taking into account the energy payments,’ Mr Ashford said. ‘Can I ask the minister, what was the actual logic is behind suspending it? It effectively only saved £800,000 which works out at 0.24% of the overall benefit budget.’

Dr Allinson replied: ‘The reason that this particular payment was suspended was because of the extra payments which were going to exactly the same number of people over a period of time to help them with their energy costs.

‘A press release was sent out and there was adequate publicity in the run-up to Christmas to ensure people understood normal payments in January would not go ahead but they would be getting a payment in December.’