On Friday last week, Internal Affairs made a payment of $327,750 to 6555 beneficiaries. They received $50, each paid out to their local account
Only beneficiaries on the Cook Islands Welfare System (old age pension, child benefit, destitute, infirm and care-givers) are eligible for the payment.
The annual Christmas Bonus payment was introduced in December 2003 as an alternative to the annual Christmas feast previously been provided for old age pensioners.
Last year 6096 beneficiaries received the Christmas bonus, compared with 5556 in 2017. The increase was largely due to the number of children aged between 12 and 14 years that were reinstated to the child benefit payment as of October 1, 2018.
Internal Affairs minister Vaine Mokoroa earlier said that apart from remembering the birth of Christ, December was also the month for various family activities in the Cook Islands such as weddings, birthdays, unveiling and family reunions.
“Government aims to provide assistance to families especially those in hardship in this time of giving, so that the festivity around Christmas is a joyful one.”