ACCPA welcomes budget’s investment in aged care, but more work to be done

ACCPA

ACCPA welcomes the Government’s commitment in the budget to fully fund wage rises arising from Stage 3 of the Work Value Case, giving valued workers increases of between 3% and 14%. This is on top of the 15% increases to award wage rates last year.

We look forward to more details on the funding, once the final decision is made by the Fair Work Commission later in the year.

“We know that the previous increases are working. We’re hearing reports from across the sector that it’s becoming easier to attract and keep aged care workers, so this is another important step in that journey. We will work with the Government to implement this important increase,” said ACCPA CEO Tom Symondson.

“As the Government has acknowledged in the past, our sector can only afford these types of increases with matching Government funding.”

ACCPA also welcomes the Government’s $531.4 million investment in 24,100 home care  but believes there’s still plenty more work to be done. ACCPA advocated for 80,000 home care packages to clear the national queue, and with today’s announcement, that queue will continue to grow.

“It’s critical that investment in home care packages continues, to ensure that demand is met and that older people can receive the care they need quickly rather than waiting months for even basic support.”

“Increasingly, people want to stay in their homes for as long as they safely can. We also know that the waiting list for home care packages has increased in recent years. Clearly there’s more work to be done, as we flex up to the new Support at Home Program in 2025.”

The budget also contains $1.4 billion for technology systems and digital infrastructure.

The commencement date of the new Aged Care Act will also be deferred until July 2025.

“ACCPA has been consistently and publicly calling for certainty regarding the commencement date of the new legislation. Getting legislation of this magnitude right will take time, which we now have. However, this delay makes it even more critical that the legislation is introduced to parliament as soon as possible to allow for an effective implementation.”

ACCPA is disappointed the Aged Care Taskforce was not mentioned in the budget. Funding to ensure a stable and viable sector is the number one challenge facing aged care in Australia.

“We need to see this critical reform, which is fully supported by the sector, introduced as soon as possible, to give providers and older people confidence. We need to see the Government’s response and we need all sides of politics to get behind these reforms. Only bi-partisan support can ensure that they stand the test of time.”

 “The majority of providers continue to struggle to keep their doors open and the sector has lost billions of dollars over the past five years, hampering investment while demand for services is growing. It can’t go on.”

“The number one priority for aged care providers is improving the lives of older Australians. They need and deserve higher levels of care and support, and we want to be able to provide it to them.”

/Public Release. View in full here.