Federal 2022 Budget: What’s in it for aged care

The Albanese Government’s first budget has been designed to tread a fine line between not wanting to fuel inflation (tipped to peak at 7.75% in the December quarter of 2022) and keeping the election promises that got them to power in the first place.

For aged care, the budget supports previous commitments with $2.5 billion to underpin an increase in residential care staffing minutes and requirements for 24/7 nurse coverage in residential aged care.

It also provides $1.4 billion for other measures including continued funding for COVID-19, and implementation of an Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and Inspector-General of Aged Care.

Key measures that will have flow-on benefits to the aged care industry with respect to the workforce, include $531 million to progressively expand paid parental leave to 26 weeks by 2026 and increases in childcare subsidies that will be available to 96 per cent of families – a centrepiece of the budget!

The $3.9 billion for aged care measures included in this Budget represent an important step along the road to fixing Australia’s aged care system and realising the vision set out by the Royal Commission.

The Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA)

In a release, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) cites the promise of the Treasurer to fund an increase in aged care workers’ wages in future Budgets.

CHA Aged Care Director Jason Kara said: “Tonight’s Budget included a recommitment of the Government to fund the future Fair Work Commission pay decision in full.”

As first reported by the Australian Financial Review – In its submission to the Fair Work Commission, Treasury estimates suggest a 25% increase in the pay for aged care workers could increase workforce numbers by 5 – 10%, – potentially adding around 36,000 workers to the sector!

A decision on the unions’ 25% wage claim is expected over the summer.


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