The government last week implemented the increase in the fortnightly pensions and the quarterly child allowance that Premier Dalton Tagelagi announced at the flag-raising ceremony, pensioners receiving a $30 increase in their fortnightly payments while the children will receive $100 every three months.
In an email to BCN News, the Director General of the Ministry of Social Services, Gaylene Tasmania explained that the pension has increased by $30 which means that pensioners 60 years to 69 years will receive $440 fortnightly or $11,440 per year.
In the case of a person who has attained the age of 70 years to 79 years will receive $450 every two weeks or $11,700 per year.
For pensioners 80 years and older, will receive $460 every fortnight or $11,960 per year
The quarterly Child Allowance has increased from $85 to $100 or $400 per year for every qualifying child.
The increase in the allowance for children is the first time in many years, while the pension for those 60 years and older has been increasing regularly for the past two decades.
In the late 1990s, the pension was around $72 per fortnight and it was during the former government of the late Sir Toke Talagi when the regular increase in pension began, with the intention to reach $500 per fortnight, something the elderly on the island continue to hope for.
While there may be some people who will question the increase in pensions, however, it is quite evident that the pensioners contribute substantially to the churches and community activities on the island, justifying their increase.
At the flag-raising ceremony during the constitution celebrations, the elderly folks in the crowd cheered and applauded when Premier Tagelagi announced ‘the small increase’.
Niueans and permanent residents are entitled to a fortnightly pension when they turn 60 years old while Niueans who had returned from New Zealand to retire in Niue receive their New Zealand pension.