AN SNP MP has called on the Tory government to bring back a £10 Christmas bonus for those on benefits, which is being axed as claimants are moved to Universal Credit. Chris Stephens labelled Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd “the Grinch who stole Christmas from families who are struggling at a particularly difficult time of year”.

The bonus was introduced in 1972 to provide additional support due to high inflation. The payment has never been increased, and according to the House of Commons Library, would only be worth 78p today.

Glasgow South West MP Stephens had previously been arguing for an increase in the bonus, and yesterday tabled a motion to Parliament to gain support from MPs.

He said: “People cannot wait until the Chancellor’s Spring Statement for this support – the UK Government needs to act right now. It’s up to Amber Rudd to use the power of her office to boost the Christmas bonus for those who receive it and reinstate it to those who have lost it.”