The Budget has let down older Australians, with this Government showing no desire to address the aged care funding crisis.
The Morrison Budget is a huge disappointment for our older Australians requiring residential and home care, amounting to no more than a rehash of previous announcements – and is a massive wasted opportunity to deliver desperately needed funds, says the union for care workers.
Despite a Budget surplus, the Government continued to ignore the funding crisis.
There was no funding ‘boost’ delivered, just rehashed announcements –
- ALREADY ANNOUNCED - $320 million in 2018-19 for a one-off increase to the basic subsidy for residential aged care recipients;
- ALREADY ANNOUNCED - $282.4 million over five years from 2018-19 for the release of an additional 10,000 home care packages across the four package levels.
Currently there are 128,000 older Australians desperately waiting for home care packages. The Budget doesn’t provide any solutions for the vast majority on the waitlist and the workers navigating a home care sector stretched to the limits. Instead, the Government could only deliver a rehash of a previous announcement that only makes a small dent in the waitlist -- which once delivered still leaves 118,000 older Australians languishing.
Helen Gibbons, Assistant National Secretary of United Voice, says, “This Budget was beyond disappointing and neglectful of the crisis in aged care. The Budget has let down older Australians. The workers and our ageing population can’t wait for the outcomes of the Royal Commission, substantial funding boosts are needed now.
“After five years of neglecting the sector, and despite calling a Royal Commission, the neglect is obviously going to continue.
“The Federal Government’s rehashed funding announcement is in reality a small portion of the $2 billion in cuts to the aged care sector since the Coalition first came to office. The truth from Budget night is that the Morrison Government has no long-term strategy for older Australians and the workers delivering their care.
“The first Royal Commission hearings have highlighted the need for reforms about how best to improve outcomes in aged care. Staff need support and training to provide better care for Australia’s aged and this Government could have delivered on that last night.”