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Retirement

PM unveils $452m funding package following ‘harrowing review’

  • March 02 2021
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Retirement

PM unveils $452m funding package following ‘harrowing review’

By Cameron Micallef
March 02 2021

The federal government has announced that it will spend almost half a billion dollars on immediate measures to help overhaul the aged care sector following the release of the aged care royal commission report.

funding package

PM unveils $452m funding package following ‘harrowing review’

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  • March 02 2021
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The federal government has announced that it will spend almost half a billion dollars on immediate measures to help overhaul the aged care sector following the release of the aged care royal commission report.

funding package

The final report by commissioners Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs has made 148 recommendations, in which they call for a fundamental change to the system.

“The extent of substandard care in Australia’s aged care system reflects both poor quality on the part of some aged care providers and fundamental systemic flaws with the way the Australian aged care system is designed and governed. People receiving aged care deserve better. The Australian community is entitled to expect better,” Commissioner Briggs said in the final report.

The recommendations include approving home care packages within one month from the date of a person’s assessment and clearing the waitlist by the end of 2021.

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It also recommends a simpler and fair approach to personal contribution and means testing, including removal of co-contributions toward care, reducing the high effective marginal tax rates that apply to many people receiving residential aged care, and phasing out refundable accommodation deposits.

“Many of our recommendations and observations are made jointly, but there are some instances where we make differing recommendations and observations,” Commissioner Pagone explains in his preface. 

“We have agreed, with some misgivings and not without anxious consideration, to make some separate recommendations and to express different views where we diverge.”

“But we both strongly conclude that fundamental change is needed. In the end, the differences between us may add to the strength of the reforms which are to be made.”

The report is the culmination of 28 months of work, including 23 public hearings involving 641 witnesses. More than 10,500 public submissions were received.

Following the release of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Report, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the process as “harrowing” but praised the work of the commissioners.

Mr Morrison admitted it would take “quite considerable time to achieve the scale of change”, when he unveiled the five-year plan following the report, but pointed to some of the immediate measures, including $18 million to enhance oversight of home care packages and $92 million to create more than 18,000 places for additional aged care workers between now and mid-2023.

“These immediate steps will drive improved quality of care by strengthening aged care provider governance, and improved oversight of home care, which will ensure senior Australians and taxpayers are getting value for money,” Mr Morrison said. 

“It will provide additional financial assistance for residential care providers so they can improve care, while building the much-needed workforce of the future to support Australians who want to age in their own homes.”

Council on the Ageing Australia chief executive Ian Yates said the onus was now placed on the Morrison government to address the systematic issues with home care, nursing home regulation, staffing and transparency.

“The fact that there are a few alternative recommendations from the commissioners on the best way to manage and fund the aged care system in no way lets government off the hook. There are no barriers to commencing urgent and long-awaited reforms.”

“The evidence is overwhelming: we need a major transformation of the system, and older Australians shouldn’t wait a day longer than needed to be guaranteed choice, dignity and quality in aged care,” Mr Yates concluded.

PM unveils $452m funding package following ‘harrowing review’
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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