The Federal Liberal Government has unleashed a devastating new round of cuts to aged care, with the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Update stripping $534m from the Aged Care Funding Instrument.
At a time when aged care is already under pressure due to Tony Abbott’s savage cuts, instead of repairing the damage, new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has increased the pain, particularly for the least well-off.
Cuts to Aged Care have not been limited to simply the funding instrument for aged care homes, but also extend to the Aged Care Education and Training Initiative, and the Aged Care Vocational Education and Training professional development programs.
The cuts to training will hurt aged-care nurses looking to enhance their skills and qualifications, and hit rural facilities hardest, as this has been one of the preferred methods to attract trained staff.
Detail of the cuts to the Aged Care Funding Instrument have come as a shock to the sector, with public and private aged-care providers in the dark about how the changes will affect their services, their staff, their residents and their families.
Individual aged care facilities winding down for Christmas will not know exactly how these cuts will affect them – whether they will need to cut services, lay off staff, or even close down.
It will be a stressful time for all families with a parent or grandparent in an aged care facility, not knowing how their care will change as a result of the Liberals’ cuts.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley
“These Christmas cuts are a terrible blow to many families. They show that the Liberals don’t care about our seniors and don’t care about their quality of care.”
“Cutting $534 million won’t build more aged care beds or fund more nurses to take care of our elderly – it will cut nurses and aged care facilities, especially in the bush.”
“The least the Liberals could do is be honest and upfront with aged care homes, and tell them how much money they’ll lose, which homes will be forced to cut staff, and which homes will be forced to close.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021