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Federal Budget Wrap 2018-19

Social security and aged care measures

Section: 23.4

Social security and aged care measures

Proposal Implications
Protecting older Australians and establishing a National Register of Enduring Powers of Attorney Provides $22.0 million over five years from 2017-18 to protect the rights of older Australians and protect them from abuse.

The measure will support:

  • expansion and evaluation of trials of:
    • specialist elder abuse units located in legal services,
    • health justice partnerships, and
    • family counselling and mediation services,
  • an Elder Abuse Knowledge Hub,
  • a National Prevalence Research scoping study, and
  • development of a National Plan to address elder abuse.

The Government will also work with the States and Territories to develop a nationally consistent legal framework and establish a National Register of Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Stay at home and remain healthy and independent for longer, and improve access to high quality, safe aged care Amongst other policies, the measure will:
  • deliver an additional 14,000 new high level home care packages over four years from 2018-19 in addition to the 6,000 high level packages delivered in the 2017-18 MYEFO,
  • invest capital of $60 million to release 13,500 residential aged care places and 775 short term restorative care places in the 2018-19 Aged Care Approvals Round,
  • provide funding of $61.7 million over two years from 2018-19 to make the My Aged Care website easier to use and will develop simpler assessment forms for people to access aged care services,
  • combine the Residential Care and Home Care programs from 1 July 2018 to provide greater flexibility to respond to changes in demand for home care packages and residential aged care places,
  • establish a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019,
  • provide $50 million over two years from 2018-19 for a Quality Care Fund to improve the quality of residential aged care,
  • provide funding of $82.5 million over four years from 2018-19 for mental health services for people in residential aged care facilities.
Jobs and skills for mature age Australians Provides $189.7 million over five years from 2017-18 to support mature age Australians to adapt to the transitioning economy and develop the skills needed to remain in work, including:
  • enhancing employability, develop digital skills and identify opportunities in local labour markets,
  • training funding of up to $2,000 for workers aged 45 to 70 years to take up reskilling or upskilling opportunities, with the Government contribution to be matched by either the worker or their current employer,
  • supporting mature age workers who are considering early retirement or who are retrenched to look at alternatives to remain in employment,
  • promoting entrepreneurship and new business opportunities and to provide business mentoring, and
  • $1.1 million in 2018-19 to restructure the Employment Fund to allow additional wage subsidy places for mature age employees.
Finances for a longer life: Enhancing the standard of living of older Australians This measure commences on 1 July 2019, and comprises:
  • increasing the Pension Work Bonus from $250 to $300 per fortnight to earn up to $7,800 each year without impacting their pension
    • It will also be expanded to allow self-employed retirees to earn up to $300 per fortnight without impacting their pension,
  • amending the pension means test rules to encourage the development and take up of lifetime retirement income products that can help retirees manage the risk of outliving their savings, and
  • expanding the Pension Loans Scheme to everyone over Age Pension age and to increase the maximum fortnightly income stream to 150% of the Age Pension rate, enabling Australians to use the equity in their homes to increase their incomes.

Last modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2019