Budget 2018 – older Australians

The Federal Budget Paper 2, Part 2 Expense Measures, handed down on 8 May 2018 outlines a broad range of government expenditure measures that will impact older Australians.

 

The measures include:

  • Protecting older Australians
  • Finances for a longer life
  • Skills checkpoint for older workers program — establishment
  • Healthy ageing and high quality care
  • Jobs and skills for mature age Australians.

 

More Choices for a Longer Life — protecting older Australians

The Government will provide $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 three types of specialist support services: 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
  • the development of a National Plan to address elder abuse, to be agreed between the Commonwealth, States and Territories, in close consultation with industry and community groups.

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. Expenditure for this component has been provisioned in the Budget but is not for publication pending the outcome of negotiations with the States and Territories.

 

This measure builds on the 2016 17 MYEFO measure titled Protecting the Rights of Older Australians.

 

Expense ($m)

 

2017 18

2018 19

2019 20

2020 21

2021 22

Attorney General’s Department

 6.0

3.0

8.2

8.3

8.4

 

 

More Choices for a Longer Life — finances for a longer life

The Government will provide $258.6 million over five years from 2017 18 to introduce a range of measures that will enhance the standard of living of older Australians. This measure commences on 1 July 2019, and comprises:

  • $227.4 million to increase 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;
  • $20.2 million to amend 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
  • $11.0 million to expand the Pension Loans Scheme to everyone over Age Pension age and to increase the maximum fortnightly income stream to 150 per cent of the Age Pension rate. This will enable Australians to use the equity in their homes to increase their incomes.

 

Expense ($m)

 

2017 18

2018 19

2019 20

2020 21

2021 22

Department of Human Services

..

17.7

4.4

3.8

3.9

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

 

2.0

3.8

3.5

3.3

Department of Social Services

   

84.5

88.3

88.9

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

   

..

..

 

Total — Expense

 

19.7

92.7

95.6

96.0

Related revenue ($m)

         

Australian Taxation Office

     

20.0

23.0

Department of Social Services

     

0.7

3.1

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

     

..

0.1

Total — Revenue

     

20.7

26.2

Related capital ($m)

         

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

 

1.5

     

 

 

More Choices for a Longer Life — skills checkpoint for older workers program — establishment

The Government will provide $17.4 million over four years from 2018 19 to establish the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers program, which will support employees aged 45 70 to remain in the workforce.

 

From 1 September 2018, 5,000 employees each year would be entitled to receive customised career advice on transitioning into new roles, or their pathways to a new career, including referrals to relevant training options.

 

See also the related expense measure titled More Choices for a Longer Life — jobs and skills for mature age Australians in the Jobs and Innovation portfolio.

 

Expense ($m)

 

2017 18

2018 19

2019 20

2020 21

2021 22

Department of Education and Training

 

4.4

4.3

4.3

4.4

 

 

More Choices for a Longer Life — healthy ageing and high quality care

The Government will implement new policies to support people to stay at home longer, remain healthy and independent for longer, and to improve access to high quality, safe aged care.

Better Access to Care:

  • the Government 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;
  • 13,500 residential aged care places and 775 short term restorative care places in the 2018 19 Aged Care Approvals Round will be released, with a $60.0 million capital investment to support new places;
  • the Government will provide funding of $105.7 million over four years from 2018 19 (including $32.0 million from within the existing resources) to support the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program to deliver additional residential aged care places and home care packages in remote Indigenous communities;
  • the Government will 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;
  • the Government will provide capital grants funding of $40.0 million over four years from 2019 20 for aged care facilities in regional, rural and remote Australia;
  • the Government will provide funding of $14.8 million over two years from 2018 19 to support preparatory work for a new national assessment framework for people seeking aged care;
  • the Government will provide further funding of $7.4 million over two years from 2018 19 to trial navigator services to assist people seeking information about aged care to make decisions that are right for them;
  • the Government will provide $0.3 million in 2018 19 for an impact analysis of   allocating residential care places to people seeking care, rather than to the providers of that care in response to the 2017 Legislated Review of Aged Care; and
  • the Government will 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.

Better Quality of Care:

  • the Government will establish a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019 and will provide $253.8 million over four years from 2018 19 to support the functions of the new Commission;
  • the Government will provide $50.0 million over two years from 2018 19 for a Quality Care Fund to improve the quality of residential aged care;
  • the Government will provide $32.6 million over four years from 2018 19 to enhance the regulation of aged care provider quality to better identify risks and respond more quickly to care failures;
  • the Government will provide funding of $32.8 million over four years from 2018 19 for a trial to improve palliative care for elderly Australians living in residential aged care facilities, contingent on matched funding from the States and Territories;
  • the Government will provide additional funding of $8.8 million over four years from 2018 19 to improve the transparency of information on aged care provider quality; and
  • the Government will provide $8.6 million over four years from 2018 19 to improve the management of prudential risk in residential aged care facilities including through the introduction of a levy to secure accommodation bonds.

Better Ageing:

  • the Government will provide funding of $82.5 million over four years from 2018 19 for mental health services for people in residential aged care facilities;
  • the Government will provide funding of $29.2 million over two years from 2018 19 to undertake a trial of support strategies to help older Australians stay independent for longer;
  • the Government will provide $20.0 million over four years from 2018 19 for a pilot of services led by mental health nurses to target the mental health of older Australians in the community, particularly those at risk from isolation;
  • the Government will provide $22.9 million over two years from 2018 19 to encourage and increase physical activity in older Australians;
  • the Government will provide funding of $6.5 million over four years from 2018 19 for the development of website checks for 45 and 65 year olds which will be supported by reminder letters so they can assess their health, employment options and finances, so as to remain healthy, active and independent;
  • the Government will provide $5.3 million over four years from 2018 19 for the development of technological solutions to support people living with dementia to better manage their care; and
  • the Government will provide $0.3 million over two years from 2018 19 to the Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry to collect more data to improve patient outcomes.
  • The Government will provide $8.2 million in 2017 18 for a communications campaign to support the package of reforms.

 

Expense ($m)

 

2017 18

2018 19

2019 20

2020 21

2021 22

Department of Health

8.2

 20.0

24.0

23.3

21.9

Department of Human Services

..

2.3

0.9

0.7

0.7

Australian Sports Commission

 

11.4

11.4

   

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

 

0.6

1.9

3.6

3.5

Department of Finance

 

0.1

0.1

   

Department of the Treasury

   

9.9

10.5

11.0

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

         

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

 

 32.2

 38.0

 40.2

 35.1

Total — Expense

8.2

 37.7

10.2

 2.2

2.0

Related revenue ($m)

         

Department of Health

   

1.1

1.3

1.3

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

 

 11.0

 11.1

   

Total — Revenue

 

 11.0

 10.0

1.3

1.3

Related capital ($m)

         

Department of Health

 

2.8

1.4

   

 

More Choices for a Longer Life — jobs and skills for mature age Australians

The Government will provide $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. The funding includes:

  • $136.4 million over four years from 2018 19 for targeted training to help mature age job seekers aged 45 years and over and who are registered with a jobactive provider to enhance employability, develop digital skills and identify opportunities in local labour markets;
  • $19.3 million over three years from 2018 19 for 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;
  • $15.2 million over three years from 2018 19 to support mature age workers who are considering early retirement or who are retrenched to look at alternatives to remain in employment;
  • $17.7 million over four years from 2018 19 for additional Inclusive Entrepreneurship Facilitators for an increased focus on mature age people to promote 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.

In addition, the Government will work with business and community peak bodies to develop strategies that promote the benefits of a diverse workforce, influence hiring practices and reduce discrimination. The Government will also better target its existing communication campaign activities for various Australian Government employment services to increase awareness of these programs, within existing funding.

The cost of this measure will be partially funded from within the existing resources of the Department of Jobs and Small Business.

 

Expense ($m)

 

2017 18

2018 19

2019 20

2020 21

2021 22

Department of Jobs and Small Business

 9.3

18.0

17.1

7.1

4.9

Related capital ($m)

         

Department of Jobs and Small Business

 

3.3

     

 

10 May 2018.