Bill Shorten called out by the ABC Fact Check – $1.2B aged care funding cut ‘misleading’

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In Parliamentary question time Bill Shorten asked:

“Yesterday, the Prime Minister stated: we are committed to providing older Australians with access to care that supports their dignity… If that is the case, why, when he was Treasurer, in his first budget, did the now Prime Minister cut $1.2 billion from aged care? How did cutting $1.2 billion from aged care support the dignity of vulnerable older Australians?”

The RMIT ABC Fact Check analysed budget papers from 2009 – 10 to 2018 – 19.

The verdict: “Mr Shorten’s claim is misleading”.

Its report said:

In Mr Morrison’s first year as Federal Treasuer – that is 2016 – 17 – the total Commonwealth funding for aged care (excluding the pension and other forms of income support for seniors, but including a range of other programs) was $17.4 billion.

That represented an increase of more than $1 billion over the previous year.

The increase came despite a decision to pare $1.2 billion of “efficiencies” over four years, largely by reducing the subsidies paid to aged care providers to tackle potential over claiming and an unexpected cost blowout.

The overall level of Commonwealth funding provided for aged care has increased on an annual basis for at least the past decade.

Fact check deems that an adjustment to future spending does not represent a” cut” when the overall level of spending continues to rise.

VIDEO: Watch Bill Shorten make the claim during Question Time (ABC News)