Monday, 30 March 2015

Abbott's at it again - leaving rich superannuants alone & beating up on low-income retirees & pensioners

With Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announcing that his 2015-16 Budget would be a dull and boring one, it is reasonable to conclude that the over-the-top tax concessions for super funds and rich superannuates will remain unchanged.

However, Abbott is endorsing the raising of fees paid by older low-income retirees and pensioners who want to stay at home for as long as possible in their later years.

The Australian 25 March 2015:

Older Australians will fail to get the help they need and community aged-care providers will struggle to survive if fees suggested by the government for its $1.7 billion aged-care home-support scheme go ahead as planned.

The Commonwealth Home Support Program begins in July and will provide a national, entry-level, aged-care service for those over 65 who can be aided to stay at home as long as possible, reducing the pressure on expensive and rationed residential-care places.

Draft fees released by the government, however, outline minimum expected payments for pensioners and part-pensioners up to double those paid by the same people under the four existing programs, which will be subsumed by the CHSP. “At this stage, the feedback I am getting is that the fees are probably too high and they (clients) won’t pay,” Aged and Community Services Australia chief executive John Kelly told The Australian.

“The clients will vote with their feet and they won’t use the services. That’s when you start having negative social and health consequences.”

About 750,000 people use home-support programs. Under the proposed fee schedule, single people with an income of more than $51,500 will pay a standard fee for the cost of service, those who earn less than $25,118.60 will get the full pension discount and those in-between will be given part-pension discounts.

The suggested minimum fees for pensioners for domestic assistance, personal care, nursing and allied health service is $10 per hour, $9 per hour for food and social support and $9 for meals, not including cost of ingredients……

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