Further leaks following last week’s predictions of a disappointing Budget for the aged care sector.
The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age published reports on Sunday that the Government will allocate just $10 billion over four years for aged care in the Federal Budget – including funding for more Home Care Packages.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously promised that the Budget would be an ‘aged care budget’ in his interim response to the Royal Commission’s Final Report.
$2.5 billion a year is a boost for the sector – but it’s far short of the $7 billion (now $10 billion – see next story) estimated to be required by the Grattan Institute.
The leaks suggest that the Royal Commission’s recommendation to increase the Basic Daily Fee from $10 to $20 – a cost of around $700 million a year – will be taken up. But the aged care levy proposed by the Commissioners is still in doubt.
PM pledges “substantive response”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison neither confirmed or denied the media reports when asked about them, saying he had “made it clear that a substantive response to the Royal Commission” would be made in the Budget.
“We have already put $450 million committed to that initial response to the Royal Commission and a lot of urgent areas of that was important,” he said.
“That comes on top of the massive increases we have put into home aged care places, and we have gone from 60,000 when we came to Government to 190,000, much of that in the last couple of years.”
In response to the speculation, the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) called on the Federal Government to commit to implementing the major recommendations of the Royal Commission through both the upcoming Budget and a longer-term aged care plan.
Another $2.5B a year won’t cut it, says AACC
The group – Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and UnitingCare Australia –says another $2.5 billion a year over four years won’t meet the needs of older Australians.
“The AACC has submitted a 15-point plan of reform to government, focusing on the priority areas of human rights, access and choice, workforce, transparency and sustainability,” he said.
“These are the areas that should receive funding to ensure older Australians receive the care and choice they need.”
Mr Rooney added that the Prime Minister’s legacy will be measured by his response – and the AACC is determined to see his Government deliver.
“He has the opportunity to succeed where other Prime Ministers and governments have desperately failed, realising a world-leading aged care system that older Australians need and deserve, now and into the future,” he concluded.
Will that be enough to ensure that the Government delivers? Watch my video for the full story.