Finance Minister Mark Brown

Child Benefit age Increased

We can all as a country be confident that this budget also met the needs of our families and the young and vulnerable by increasing the qualifying age of the child benefit and as we passed this into legislation at near the end of our time in this current sitting said Finance Minister Mark Brown and to see it unanimously agreed upon bodes well for the future of our country as well as meeting a number of our National Sustainable Development goals.

The 2018 Budget identified the impact of the high costs of participating in secondary education on Cook Islands families and we set about as a government to meet that need to create some relief for these families and for those especially with multiple numbers of children attending school and high school, and to address this we have passed into law the increase of the age of the child benefit from the current 0-12 to 0-16 years old over the next two years said Brown.

As of 1 October 2018, the child benefit age will be extended to under 14 years. As of July 2019, the government will provide additional funds to accommodate the age extension to under 16-year-olds. This will provide the necessary and immediate need for additional funding to families to enable them to attend to their children’s basic necessities.