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Cost Of Living Adjustment For Beneficiaries

Cost Of Living Adjustment For Beneficiaries

Benefits, superannuation and student allowances will increase from 1 April 2004 and income thresholds for the Community Services Card will rise as part of the annual cost of living adjustment, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey and Health Minister Annette King said today.

Benefit, superannuation and allowance rates are increased from 1 April each year in line with inflation. With the increase in payments, the
income thresholds for Community Services Card holders will also increase. This means that no card holders will lose their entitlement to the card as a result of the increase in their benefit and an estimated additional 13,000 New Zealanders who have not been able to use the card will now be eligible.

The increase of 1.55 percent in the rates of benefits, allowances and Community Services Card thresholds equates to the increase in the cost of living for 2003, 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 under 20 years living at home, receiving the Unemployment Benefit, up $1.67 to $109.43.

· for a single unemployed person aged between 20 to 24 years, receiving the Unemployment Benefit, up $2.09 to $136.79

· for a married couple receiving the Unemployment Benefit with no children, up $4.18 to $273.58

· for a single person over 18 receiving the Invalids Benefit, up $3.13 to $205.18

· for a sole parent with one child, receiving the Domestic Purposes Benefit, up $3.59 to $235.12

· for a single student aged over 25 years studying away from home receiving a Student Allowance, up $2.51 to $164.16

· for a married couple who both qualify for New Zealand Superannuation, up $5.84 to $383.22

The new Community Services Card thresholds now range from $19,741 per year for a single person sharing accommodation to $51,813 per year for a family of six people.

Download the associated document file here rates at 1 April 2004.doc

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