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Benefit rates rise to meet increased living costs

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Minister of Youth Affairs

16 March 2012 Media Statement
Benefit rates rise to meet increased living costs

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announced the annual increase in benefit payments and superannuation for more than a million Kiwis.
“We passed legislation so annual increases are linked to increases in the consumer price index and keep up with rising living costs,” says Ms Bennett.
The increase will take effect from April 1 this year.

The 2012 Annual General Adjustment will see a 1.77 percent increase to:

• Benefit rates, Student Allowances, Student Loan Living Costs and the Foster Care Allowance
• rates and thresholds for supplementary assistance
• thresholds for the Community Services Card.

A 2.65 percent increase will apply to rates of New Zealand Superannuation.

“These increases will help make sure Superannuitants and others who rely on state assistance, can meet their daily living costs,” said Ms Bennett.

“The percentage increase will be slightly higher for people receiving NZ Superannuation or a Veteran’s Pension, so that the married couple rate continues to equal 66 percent of the average net wage.”

For example, this means that married NZ Superannuitants will see an increase of $13.84 per week when compared to payments on 1 April 2011.

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