On Tuesday evening the Federal Government announced its budget for the following fiscal year, outlining a handful of social and political priorities that will take us up to the next federal election and beyond. There were several industries that missed out, but one of the areas that unquestionably benefited was the aged care sector, with the Government targeting older Australians and baby boomers in particular.
A snapshot of these measures include:
$1.6B over four years to support 14,000 home care packages, relieving pressure on nursing homes;
Boosting the Pension Loans Scheme to all older Australians so they can borrow from the Government against their home, without impacting on their eligibility for the pension or other benefits;
Increase to the figure pensioners can earn from employment without affecting their pension payments;
Revamp of the My Aged Care website, with $60M allocated to making it easier to use;
Incentivising businesses to employ older people with a $10,000 wage subsidy for new hires over 50;
$83M to bolster mental health services in residential aged care homes.
This budget shows the Government plans for older Australians to stay independent for longer by committing a substantial package that will support pensioners to continue working for longer, borrow more to supplement their pension and the option receive care at home, rather than the need for nursing homes.
There are a couple of aspects that need clarity; for example whether the Government will recognise a retirement village lease as eligible for the Pension Loans Scheme, which is currently only available to those who own real estate.
Donald Cant Watts Corke welcomes this much needed investment in the aged care sector and fully appreciates the need for quality care and support for our ageing population. Our older generations should have the ability to live independently and with dignity for as long as possible; and the measures announced on Tuesday will hopefully go some way to facilitate that.
With over 50 years of solid experience, our team of trusted advisors has a proven track record of delivering world class aged care facilities that help older Australian’s live fulfilling and independent live – whether it be assisting our clients with advice surrounding project management, quantity surveying, advisory or asset management.