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ALOFI, Niue (June 14, 2001 - Niue Economic Review/PINA Nius Online)--The Niue government is expected to announce a major change to its pension provisions in the new budget.

Sources say the age for women collecting a fortnightly pension of NZ$ 100 (US$ 42.34) is expected to be lowered to 55.

Niue has one of the best welfare systems in the South Pacific and this year is reported to have allocated over NZ$ 1 million (US$ 423,420) in the budget for payments.

The government currently provides a pension to all permanent residents over the age of 60 among its fewer than 2,000 people.

The government also distributes welfare benefits to widows and single parents who are approved by the Cabinet and a child allowance for 600 recipients.

About 10 handicapped people receive special grants.

Others who receive direct grants and subsidies from the government include the Returned Servicemen's Association, Niue Amateur Sports Association, Consumer Rights, Rights of the Child and local churches.

For additional reports from the Niue Economic Review, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Magazines/Journals/Niue Economic Review.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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