12 Mar 2005

New Caledonia MPs enact electoral promise on family welfare benefits

5:51 am on 12 March 2005

MPs in New Caledonia have passed new laws on family welfare payouts which they say will benefit 20,000 more children.

The changes are in line with campaign promises by the Future Together Party which came to power in May.

Employees will be able to claim family benefits if they work more than 60 hours per month.

Formerly they had to work 84 hours a month.

It's not known how much the benefit increases are worth, or the level of employer contribution to the scheme.

The Rassemblement-UMP party failed in an attempt to amend the bill, aiming to get more beneficiaries into professional training and help them avoid what it described as the vicious circle of welfare dependency.