Category Archives: Consumer Affairs

Press Release –

The Labour and Consumer Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is in the process of creating a contact list of all businesses in Rarotonga and the Outer Islands. Having such a comprehensive and up-to-date contact list will largely facilitate the communication between the Ministry and all Stakeholders on labour matters and information about employee and employer rights and duties by email or otherwise. At this stage, there are two important activities planned to be rolled out as from January 2017: the Labour Inspections and the Employer Liability Insurance Scheme. For the Consumer Division, the newly appointed Senior Consumer Advisor, Mr Papaterai William, will actively engage with Stakeholders in regards to consumer rights and complaints.

All Businesses are therefore invited to contact our office via email, phone or Facebook to provide the necessary contact details. Public notices will be published during the month of January as a friendly reminder. The Labour and Consumer Division appreciates and thanks all its valued Stakeholders for their collaboration.

RATES SET TO INCREASE FROM 1 JULY

The Destitute and Infirmed Payment is set to increase from $165 a month to $200 a month from 1 July 2016 and the Old Age Pension rate for those aged 70 and over will increase from $650 a month to $660 a month.

The Destitute and Infirmed Payment is a means tested payment targeting working age people, primarily those with high disability needs, who are unable to secure employment. There are approximately 200 people currently receiving this payment.

While the rate is set to increase to $200 a month, the Government has stated an intention to progressively increase the Destitute and Infirmed Payment over time so that there is parity with the Old Age Pension.

The increase to the Destitute and Infirmed Payment was announced as part of the 2016-17 Budget at an additional cost of $92,000 bringing the total cost for the payment to $528,000 in 2016-17.

The increase in the Old Age Pension was originally announced last year and will cost an additional $87,000 bringing the total expected expenditure on the Old Age Pension for those aged 70 and over to $5.8 million in 2016-17. This is in addition to $6.3 million allocated in the 2016-17 Budget for Old Age Pensioners aged from 60 to 69.

Media Release – REVIEW OF NEW FUEL PRICING ARRANGEMENTS

The Price Tribunal is commencing a review of the new fuel pricing arrangements introduced in July 2015, as planned.

The key objective is to assess whether the objectives identified in the initial pricing review in January 2015 have been achieved, particularly whether the new pricing arrangements have delivered a reduction in the price of fuel for Cook Island consumers, offers improved protection to consumers, as well as assessing the effectiveness of bringing local market prices closer to global price movements and the equitable treatment of importers, wholesalers and retailers.

In addition, the review will also look at the efficacy of the new process, such as the administrative efficiency for all stakeholders including the necessary interactions with stakeholders in processing price orders.

The review will also take into account Pa Enua pricing arrangements, including Aitutaki.

The Review provides an opportunity for stakeholders to express their views on the new pricing arrangements and any other issues relating to fuel price regulation. The full details of the review are available at the Consumer Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and will also be made available at all fuel retail outlets on Rarotonga and Pa Enua.

Extensive meetings with stakeholders, focus groups, questionnaires and data analysis will commence over the next few weeks with support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

In addition, the Price Tribunal is inviting written submissions to be made by no later than 5 February 2016. The Price Tribunal encourages members of the public to take an active part in this process through written submissions to enable all views to be accurately reflected.

The Price Tribunal expects that the review will be finalised by the end of March 2016 with outcomes to be released in April 2016.

 

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Contact:

Mata Tangata

Price Tribunal Secretariat