‘Have faith in CIP’ Nicholas urges

Friday May 04, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Internal Affairs minister and CIP candidate for Avatiu-Ruatonga seat Albert Nicholas at the party campaign launch. Internal Affairs minister and CIP candidate for Avatiu-Ruatonga seat Albert Nicholas at the party campaign launch.

Internal Affairs minister Albert Nicholas asked the people of the Cook Islands to work with the Cook Islands Party (CIP) to continue “making things happen”.

 

Speaking at the CIP campaign launch for the 2018 General Elections at the National Auditorium on Wednesday night, the Avatiu-Ruatonga Member of Parliament said since its inception into the grand halls of government, the CIP had carved in stone a commitment to achieve many, many things for the people.

He said the party blessed the carving with the phrase “Making it Happen”. “True, as it may be, a number of them took years to achieve, but the fact of the matter is, it was achieved,” Nicholas said. One of the government’s achievements, Nicholas said, was the increase in the child benefit from $66 to $100.

He also pointed out the government’s proposed initiative to increase the age of child benefit payments from 12 years to 16 years. Currently, only children with severe disabilities can claim the child benefit until the age of 16.

“How can any government in its right mind justify that the child benefit should stop at 12 years old? Well, this government wasn’t going to stand and watch that go by,” Nicholas said.

“Your child can collect child benefit till the age of 16 provided you as a parent support them to stay in school and study.” The gradual increase in the elderly pension over the last couple of years was another of the CIP government’s achievements, Nicholas said. He mentioned the steady increase in the minimum wage from $6 to $7.25 since he took office as yet another major feat of the government.

“Another milestone issue of the government is the New Zealand pension portability. It took this government to have the courage to make that application to the New Zealand government and beg the New Zealand government. “And when I say beg, I literally mean ‘beg’.

“The prime minister of this country and his Cabinet were pretty much on their knees begging the New Zealand government to support our plea to have the New Zealand pension portable so our people who qualify for the pension can come home.”

Nicholas said the party was ready to deliver, urging voters to believe in them to carry out the good job for another term.

“Trust in us, give us your faith and your belief, work with us, campaign for us and campaign for yourself so we can keep making it happen.” The 2018 elections will be held on June 14.

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