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Media Release: COTA NT on Federal Budget 2018 – More commitment needed to ageing population and aged care

9 May 2018

COTA NT’s CEO Sue Shearer has welcomed most of the initiatives from the 2018 Federal Budget, but warns it is not enough. “One of the highlights is the provision of $189.7m over five years to support workers aged 45 to 70 to adapt to changing circumstances and remain in work,” says Ms Shearer, “However, while they are being trained they would still be on Newstart – at just $40 per day, this is deplorable.

“While the increase in My Aged Packages is welcomed, it does not go anywhere near the demand for these packages,” Ms Shearer adds. “With 100,000 Australians waiting for all the differing levels of these package – and the wait list in the Territory is over six months – only 20,000 high needs packages were released. Hopefully this will assist approximately 40 Territorians currently being hostelled in the RDH and other regional areas.

“The merging of the Home Care and Residential funding pools will make more Home Care Packages possible, but that is in the future. Couple this with the projection that by 2022 there will be 252,00 job vacancies in the Aged Care and Disability Sector – how does this add up? With residential care allocated to providers, and not in response to consumer demands, Territorians will still not have the ability to choose their nursing home.  And if there is one available, you will be put on a five-year wait list. More is needed.

“Other measures are welcomed such as the Pension Work Bonus of $50.00 a fortnight. This means retirees on the Aged Pension can now earn up to $300 per fortnight that won’t affect their pension. Expansion to the Pension Loan Scheme is also welcomed, as are the changes to superannuation for self-funded retirees.

“Hopefully all these measures will actually take place and the commitment to older Australians will continue after the Federal election in 2019.”

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Media contact: Sue Shearer, CEO COTA NT, 0408 987 751

Further information

About: Extra home care packages and other aged care measures are in the full media release published on the COTA NT website, https://www.cotant.org.au/cota-media-releases/

 COTA Australia’s Address to Federal Budget 2018 

 https://www.cota.org.au/news/

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