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Friday 19 October 2018

Irish Mirrors' fake news headline

Irish Mirror turned "There is currently no provision... However... I am hopeful that we will be in a position to pay." into "Christmas bonus will not be paid" a fake news headline in that it deliberately knowingly not true.

Christmas bonus will not be paid to pensioners and social welfare recipients this year Ferghal Blaney 25 SEP 2018 Irish Mirror

This was based on the pre-written Opening statement, Regina Doherty T.D., Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection 2018

The minster responded later that afternoon while she spoke her opening statement, calling it a "fake news headline". Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection Pre-Budget Discussion: Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Regina Doherty: The annual Christmas bonus was abolished in 2009 by the then Government due to the catastrophic collapse of the country's finances at the time. Thankfully, as the economy recovered the bonus was reinstated in 2014 at a rate of 25%. This rate was increased to 75% in 2015 and further increased to 85% in 2016 and 2017. Despite the fake news headline produced in a newspaper this morning I would like to put at ease the minds of the hundreds of thousands of people who have been absolutely needlessly worried this morning because of that contribution by that particular newspaper, and anybody else who contributed to it, that I have absolutely no intention of discontinuing the Christmas bonus for any social welfare recipient. It is disingenuous of anybody to try to grab a cheap headline at the expense of people who have no other income, other than their weekly fixed income from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and totally rely on the Christmas bonus. I can guarantee that whoever did so has never had to live on a fixed income in their life.

This is how it was phrased in 2017 and previous years 2017 Opening statement, Regina Doherty T.D., Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Fine Gael Senators James Reilly and Gabriel McFadden both also called it "fake news".