Aged care increases announced, but are they enough?

The government has announced more than $17 billion in assistance to the underfunded aged care sector over five years.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced that his government will increase aged care spending by $17.7 billion over the next five years by investing $250 million in 2020–21, $2.1 billion in 2021–22, $4.4 billion in 2022–23, $5.5 billion in 2023–24 and $5.5 billion in 2024–25.

“The Prime Minister called the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety,” the Treasurer said. 

“It revealed shocking cases of neglect and abuse.

“Tonight, we commit $17.7 billion in practical and targeted new funding to significantly improve the system.”

The $17.7 billion includes $7.8 billion to reform residential care to support a better and more sustainable system; $7.5 billion for immediate investments for care in the home; $942 million to drive systemic improvements to residential aged care quality and safety; $652.1 million to grow a skilled, professional and compassionate aged care workforce; and $698.3 million to improve the governance across the aged care system.

Moreover, Mr Frydenberg said he will fund another 80,000 new home care packages, bringing the total to 275,000 home care packages available.

He said the government will increase the time nurses and carers are required to spend with residents.

“We will make an additional payment of $10 per resident per day to enhance the viability and sustainability of the residential aged care sector.

“We will support over 33,000 new training places for personal carers, and a new Indigenous workforce,” Mr Frydenberg continued. 

The increase in funding follows the release of The Aged Care Royal Commission that contained 148 recommendations aimed at bringing about a “paradigm shift” within the sector.

Prior to the budget announcement, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese condemned the budget leak, telling reporters the promises of increased spending are just the Liberal Party trying to sell fixes to a “mess” that they themselves have created.

“This is a government that waits until there’s a crisis before it responds,” Mr Albanese said.

“On aged care in 2019, they received a report titled Neglect. But they have waited until this week for any response.”

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Article by Cameron Micallef on May 11, 2021 at

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