Monday, 11 August 2014

The Abbott Code Explained - Part Three

The Abbott Code

Dept of Social Services Commonwealth Home Support Programme:

Support at home is key to helping older people remain at home and in their community for longer.
From 1 July 2015, the Australian Government will launch the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, which is central to the aged care reforms, and will support the development of an end-to-end aged care system.
The existing Commonwealth HACC Program, the National Respite for Carers Program, the Day Therapy Centres Program and potentially the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program, will be combined under a single streamlined Commonwealth Home Support Programme to provide basic maintenance, care, support and respite services for older people living in the community, and their carers.
Please see the ‘Overview of existing programs’ information sheet for further detail about the programs that will form part of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.  This consolidation will create a nationally-consistent programme that continues to provide older Australians with the care they need in their own home and community, while being more efficient and easier to understand and administer.

In recognition of the challenges posed by this fundamental shift in the structure of our population, the Australian Government is pursuing a reform agenda - in partnership with clients and carers, aged care providers, workers and health professionals - that will reshape the aged care system to make it easier for clients and carers to access services that are high-quality, client-centred, maximise independence and are responsive to the changing needs of people as they age.

Decoded Message

We expect that amalgamating and streamlining the home support services available to older Australians will generate considerable savings.

In our 2014-15 Budget Paper No. 2 we stated that $1.7 billion in savings over six years from 1 July 2018 will be achieved by reducing the rate of real growth in the Commonwealth Home Support Programme funding from 6 per cent annually to 3.5 per cent annually. 

What we didn’t announce at the time (and what we hope older voters do not notice before the next federal election) is that user fees-for-service will increase from 1 July 2015 under our new nationally consistent fees policy. Going from a current national average of around five per cent collection to fifteen per cent nationally by 2017-18.

Currently the basic service fee for home care recipients is equivalent to 17.5 per cent of the single, full rate, basic pension (that is $60 per week) and, recipients with incomes above the threshold are charged an income-tested fee. 

Making sure the elderly realise that aging is a sin is our goal.

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