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Cost of living adjustment boost for beneficiaries

Cost of living adjustment boost for beneficiaries

People on benefits, students and superannuitants will be between $2 and $10 better off each week from 1 April 2003 Minister of Social Services and Employment Steve Maharey and the Minister of Health Annette King announced today.

Benefit payments, student allowances, New Zealand superannuation/veterans pension and community services card thresholds all increase from 1 April as part of the annual cost of living adjustment.

With the increase in payments, the income thresholds for Community Services Card holders will also increase. Annette King said this means that no card holders will lose their entitlement to the card and an additional 37,000 New Zealanders who have not been able to use the card will now be eligible.

“This threshold increase represents an $11.2 million investment from the Government to improved access to the Community Service Card,” Ms King said.

The increase of 2.72 percent in the rates of benefits, allowances and community services card thresholds equates to the increase in the cost of living for 2002, as measured by the Consumers Price Index (CPI).

Examples of the increases in the after tax weekly rates are: for a single unemployed person aged 20 to 24 years, up $3.57 to $134.70; for a married couple on the unemployment benefit with no children, up $7.14 to $269.40; for a single person over 18 receiving the invalids benefit, up $5.35 to $202.05; for a sole parent with one child, receiving the domestic purposes benefit, up $6.13 to $231.53; for a married couple who both qualify for NZ superannuation, up $10 to $377.38; for a single person (18-19 years) living at home, receiving the unemployment benefit, up $2.85 to $107.76.

The new Community Service Card thresholds now range from $19,439 to $51,022 per year.

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