Elderly care funding plans deemed inadequate | Camden Haven Courier
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg pledged a four-year, over $ 10 billion senior care package in his third budget on Tuesday.
Although larger than that has been speculated in the media, it is still viewed as inadequate after years of neglect in the industry.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians points out that the Royal Commission on the Care of the Elderly has estimated that successive government cuts have already left a deficit of nearly $ 10 billion a year.
“The findings of the royal commission were damning,” said RACP spokesman John Maddison.
“They are demanding a bigger commitment from the government that makes it possible to implement all of their recommendations – not a temporary nudge that gives the road a boost.”
The Health Services Union will hold a rally on elderly care outside Parliament on Monday.
But according to Frydenberg, the package will include reforms in home and residential care, and governance, as well as skills and training initiatives.
The treasurer again pledged not to raise taxes in this budget, with tax compensation for low and middle incomes extended for another year, providing up to $ 1,080 when people file their taxes.
But he will not propose tax cuts already provided for by law for 2024/25, which will abolish the 37% tax bracket and mean that those who earn between $ 40,000 and $ 200,000 will pay a marginal tax of up to plus 30 cents on the dollar.
“This is real reform, creating a stronger and fairer tax system,” said Frydenberg.
But Australian Institute executive director Ben Oquist said a more sophisticated approach to taxation is needed.
“As Australia emerges from the recession, we will need a better and broader debate on taxation,” he said.
“This should include taking into account the level and distribution of the various tax benefits which overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Australians, can often be of minimal economic benefit and produce poor social and environmental outcomes.”
A survey of 1,000 Australians by the institute found that respondents would prefer additional government spending to tax cuts or a reduction in the budget deficit.
More than six in ten agreed with the general statement that “tax is good”, while 36 percent wanted spending on health and education.
Only nine percent chose to reduce the budget deficit and pay down debt as the best option for the government.
Mr Frydenberg has pledged not to start fixing the budget until unemployment drops below 5%.
The unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in March.
Australian Associated Press