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Budget and reply let-down

9 Apr 2019

Budget 2019-2020 – Aged care ignored by both parties

Well the Federal Budget was handed down and the Opposition replied. Lots of tax cuts and good news for people who need to utilise various medical services – but what about seniors? 

It was disappointing both parties did not add more money to the overburdened My Aged Care system for the release of more aged care packages. In the federal government’s factsheets, they mentioned that another 10,000 places have been released. However, these packages were part of the 2018/19 budget and were released in February – so no new packages at all for 2019/20.  As a witness at the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care, the Federal Government’s Department of Health CEO stipulated, “$2.1 billion is needed to bring down the wait time to an acceptable 3 months instead of recipients waiting over 18 months.” 

We would call for a complete review of retirement income and wait with bated breath for what hopefully will be good news as both sides jostle for the seniors’ vote!

We will be lobbying in regard to Labour’s proposed changes to franking credits. We would urge the Labour government  – if they must have this policy – to at least grandfather seniors and bring this policy in slowly, if at all. Better still – as mentioned previously, make this part of the retirement income review.  For seniors on NewStart,  it remains inconceivable that they are required to live on just over $15,000 pa.  And it remains exceptionally difficult for seniors who have been made redundant or who have been out of the workforce to gain positions in the workforce again.

We launch the 2019 NT Seniors Card Business Directory in Alice Springs on Friday welcoming 100 businesses to the scheme in this new edition. We will be distributing copies, but also available from Spillett House at the end of the week.  

~ Sue Shearer, CEO COTA NT

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