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Federal Budget 2016: What it means for the over 65s

Understanding how the Federal Budget directly impacts you is both challenging and essential. It can affect how you spend today and how you plan for the future.

The Council of the Ageing (COTA) has looked at the 2016 Federal Budget from the perspective of older Australians. This blog is a summary of COTA’s analysis, discussing what the over 65s can expect in the upcoming financial year.

There are impacts in 4 key areas which are worthy of comment:

  1. Superannuation - on the positive side, the government is lifting age restrictions that apply to super contributions for those aged 65-74 so that the same rules apply to everyone. This will ensure that older workers can to continue to grow their super while they are working. As people work and live longer, this measure is designed to ensure individuals have enough income to ensure self-sustaining retirement, and thereby reduce their reliance on the aged pension.

  2. Income Support – There has been a marginal cut to the aged care pension and no increase in Newstart Allowance (which is often relied upon by older Australian’s who are suffering age discrimination in the work place). The impacts are reduced disposable income and standards of living for the recipient and broader community.

  3. Aged Care – COTA is deeply disappointed about the lack of next steps in Aged Care reform. There has been come increased funding for rural and remote services. Unfortunately however, no timeframes are being given to ensure that people can access the aged care they need, when and where they need it. At the moment, people who are assessed as ‘in need’ cannot get the care they need how it best suits them.

    Restrictions are still imposed on quality aged care provider’s ability to expand; long wait lists for placements are pervasive; rationing of places continues to exist; and, the only options left to some are poor quality facilities. This in turn places pressure on family members to provide supplementary or full time care at home. There is a very real impact felt by these family members too - specifically, their ability to dedicate time to their own families, as well as generate income for retirement.

  4. Health – The freeze on MBS fees to GPs, specialists and other health care professionals means that gaps payable when people visit the doctor will widen, and out-of-pocket expenses continue to increase.

Careseekers is acutely aware of the impacts of these dynamics, particularly in aged care, on the ability of older Australians to access affordable, flexible and sustainable care, and thereby remain independent and lead a quality life well into older age. We have therefore designed a market place where families and carers can find care workers they want, where they need it, at a price they can afford. We have no wait lists for care support, care can be provided at a time that suits you.

For more information on the government’s policy initiatives, visit www.cota.org.au or for in-home care support, email us at info@careseekers.com.au or call on 1300 765 465.