The Federal Government has failed to deliver

$17.7 billion over 5 years is not the same as $10 billion every year.

Last night’s budget was supposed to be the budget to fix aged care. This was the budget that we had been told would address the Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations, a once in a generation reform.

Before the ink had dried on his speech, the Treasurer was congratulating himself on a job well done. But if this were a school exam, this Government would get an F.

The Aged Care Royal Commission’s recommendations would cost $10 billion per year. The Federal Government has delivered less than half that amount, instead announcing $17.7 billion over 5 years.

So, what do we get for $17.7 billion?

  • A new Aged Care Act to regulate the sector
  • A star rating system by the end of 2022
  • Mandated care minutes (an average of 200 minutes per day) by October 2023
  • A new Code of Conduct and worker screening
  • An extra $10 per resident per day to aged care providers
  • An extra 80,000 desperately needed home care packages
  • An extra $230 million funding for dementia services, including 3,200 new dementia specialist personal carers

A full breakdown can be accessed here:

These are important changes which wouldn’t have come about if it weren’t for years of fighting for them – and HSU members should be incredibly proud of leading the way in this fight for better aged care.

But the fight isn’t over. Last night’s budget didn’t go far enough, and we didn’t see:

  • Support for the HSU Work Value Case in increase wages for the hundreds of thousands of aged care workers who have been undervalued
  • Support for secure, permanent employment
  • Minimum qualifications and recognition of the skilled aged care workforce
  • A sustainable funding model
  • Transparency on every dollar spent in aged care

This afternoon, aged care members met over zoom to go over the budget and to discuss the next steps in the fight to Change Aged Care. The meeting unanimously passed the following resolution:

The Federal Government’s budget has failed to deliver the change needed to fix aged care. The aged care workforce must be properly valued through good, secure jobs. Funding must be transparent and sustainable. HSU members resolve to hold the Federal Government to account and make aged care an election issue.

Members who were unable to attend this afternoon’s meeting who would like to endorse the resolution, or who have any questions about the budget, can email [E-Mail not displayed].

I know that many of you will be disappointed by the budget outcome. I see the budget as the start, and now HSU members will do what they do best – fight to the end!