The caregiver’s allowance is set to increase to $200 while the pension for those aged 70 years and over to $700 a month, from July 1, 2019.
The current caregivers allowance is set at $165 per month. This allowance is maintained by government and managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as income support for people who are unable to work because of the demands of their caring role.
They include members of the public who provide care in their private home for a family member who has a severe disability or medical condition or who are frail and elderly.
Deputy prime minister Brown said the government is also fulfilling its commitment to increase the pension for those over 70 years to $700 a month, increasing the total pension to $8400 a year.
“This is still below the $11,000 threshold so this income is not taxable income. The collection of pension together with superannuation funds should help alleviate the financial burden to meet daily needs for our elderly,” he said.
“The increase in caregiver allowance, special assistance fund and pension over 70 years are all connected to achieve this priority. This government continues to value our elderly people.”
In addition to this, Brown said the government will also increase the special assistance funding by $100,000. The fund managed by Internal Affairs will provide greater coverage for the elderly beneficiaries and for people with severe disabilities.
“This is to help improve the living situations by building accessible fittings in the home. This is assessed on a case by case basis but this support is available to our people based here in on Rarotonga and the Pa Enua,” he said.
“There is funding there to improve household’s bathrooms and showers so that elderly people can utilise it much better with frames and things to hold on to while they are in the shower.
“All of these are part of just some of the things that will be contained in the Budget that we will be announcing on Tuesday.”