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Benefits And Super To Increase From April 1

Payments for beneficiaries and superannuitants will increase by between about $2 and $7 a week from 1 April, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Benefit payments, student allowances, NZ Superannuation/Veteran’s Pension and war pensions all increase from 1 April as part of the annual cost of living adjustment.

The increase of 1.82% in the net rates equates to the increase in the cost of living for the year to December 2001, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“The rise will help ease some of the financial pressures that beneficiaries and others have been under recently. Not only do the main benefits and payments go up, but a range of supplementary allowances such as the Accommodation Supplement and the Child Disability Allowance will also increase.

“Examples of the increases in the after-tax weekly rates are:

- for an unemployed person or a full time student living away from home and aged over 25, up $2.81 to $157.37;

- for a married couple on the Unemployment Benefit with no children, up $4.68 to $262.26;

- for a single person over 18 receiving the Invalids Benefit, up $3.52 to $196.70;

- for a sole parent with one child, up $4.03 to $225.40;

- for a married couple who both qualify for NZ Superannuation, up $6.56 to $367.38; and,

- for a single person aged 18-19 years living at home, up $1.88 to $104.91.

“The net fiscal cost of these increases each year over the next two years is about $160 million a year,” Steve Maharey said.


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