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.
EEW Taskforce Meeting 28 May 2015
Community groups who have been allocated funds from the Australian Aid Gender Equality Project, met today to present their proposed programmes and activities to the Economic Empowerment for Women Taskforce team. The funded agencies are the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute, the Chamber of Commerce and the National Disability Council. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and was also attended by representatives of the Creative Centre, Rotaianga, and the Ministry of Marine Resources.