A little extra help for poorer families this Christmas

General shot of wrapped Christmas gifts

Prime de noël is renewed for another year, with 2.5 million people eligible

A total 2.5million of France's least well-off people will receive a "Christmas bonus" to help meet the cost of the festive season.

The government has announced that the prime de noël initiative will be paid out by local Caisses d'Allocations Familiales on December 18, Health and Solidarity Minister Agnès Buzyn announced.

It is automatically paid in the week before Christmas to low-earners who already receive some form of income support, whether RSA (revenu de solidarité active), the allocation de solidarité spécifique, allocation équivalent retraite or the allocation transitoire de solidarité.

The amounts are the same as last year, ranging from €152.45 for a single person to €320.14 for a couple with two children. Single parents with two children will receive a little more - €335.39. For each larger families, the bonus increases €60.98 per child.

The prime de noël was introduced by Lionel Jospin's government in 1998.

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