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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren ™ Charitable Trust 2005
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NZ Herald Sept 2008 Budget
Kin carers get increase in allowance
Grandparents caring for their grandchildren are celebrating an increase in their allowances of up to $21 a week after a nine-year battle.
Senior Citizens Minister Ruth Dyson said about 7500 "kin carers" caring for more than 10,000 children would be paid the same as other foster parents from April 1 next year.
Kin carers get the orphan's benefit or the unsupported child benefit at present. For children 14 or over, these benefits pay $157.92 a week, $21.27 less than the foster care allowance.
The founder of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group, North Shore grandmother Diane Vivian, said her 3630 members would be "ecstatic".
"Oh wow, this has been nine years coming! We have been lobbying for nine years," she told the Herald.
"I'm just thrilled. When you couple it with the super increase that is coming through, and the tax breaks for those grandparents in work, that is going to make a difference."
The move was promised by Prime Minister Helen Clark during the 2005 election campaign, and Mrs Vivian said the only question she had was why did it take so long?
She rang back later to say her members were "not happy that they have to wait for nine months" for the change to take effect next April.
Kin carers will also continue to miss out on other allowances paid to non-kin foster parents, including a quarterly clothing allowance of $376.15, pocket money for the children of $12.93 a week, and $89.60 for both Christmas and birthday money.
By Simon Collins |