Yet another post budget Labor Media Release – yet more astonishing hypocrisy spilling from the Opposition – this time on Aged Care.
Rather than a ‘cut’ to the sector, the Turnbull Government’s 2016/17 Budget will increase our overall aged care spend by $17.8 billion, up 7.7 percent on last year.
Claims throughout this week by Labor look ridiculous coming from the same party which slugged Aged Care providers with a one off price reduction of 1.6% during their last year in office.
Instead of adjectives at fifty paces, Labor’s spokespeople would be better advised to check the Budget Papers, which would detail that residential aged care expenditure will increase by over five percent in the next four years. Further reading would also show our investment in Aged Care for 2016-17 is 25 percent higher than when they left office.
In both policy and spending, we are doing what we said we do – undertaking stronger compliance measures and adjustments to address a budget blowout against the Commonwealth’s Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).
In some states, as many as one-in-five claims are now being assessed as incorrect or dubious.
Labor faced a similar issue when in government, when ACFI claims blew out by $1.6 billion, but they failed to produce meaningful or long term reform. Yet again we are left to clean up the former government’s mess.
As outlined in the MYEFO, we intend to make claiming more transparent and provide greater financial certainty, enabling our Government to work with providers to develop an independent process for the assessment of an aged care resident’s needs.
It also aims to remove the ability for services to maximise claims based on financial circumstances, rather than what a resident needs.
By undertaking this reform, we will slow this unexpected and unexplainable ACFI growth by $1.2 billion over the next four years. It is smart reform – it is much needed reform and it is reform the Labor Party chose not to do and could never deliver.