Mar 29, 2022

6 key takeaways of the 2022 budget: What it means for aged care

Federal budget 2022
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivers the 2022 federal budget. Photo: ABC.

In handing down the 2022 Budget, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said these are “uncertain times”.

“Tonight, as we gather, war rages in Europe. The global pandemic is not over. Devastating floods have battered our communities,” he said.

But Australia’s economic recovery from these setbacks “leads the world”.

Unemployment is at 4%, the equal lowest in 48 years, and economic growth is faster and stronger than the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, Frydenberg said.

This success is not due to “luck”, Frydenberg added, but to his government’s “economic plan”.

1. Aged care

There was very little new for aged care, and no commitment to fund wage increases for aged care workers – the key item all watchers of the sector have been calling for and a recommendation of the royal commission.

“The budget confirms the inadequacy of the government’s previous response to the Royal Commission.”

The budget noted that 40,000 home care packages, 34,000 additional training places, 7,000 new personal care workers and 8,400 respite services will be rolled out this calendar year.

The only new announcement for aged care was $340 million to embed pharmacy services in aged care homes with the aim of improving medication management.

2. Aged care training

The budget will fund 15,000 low fee and free training places in aged care courses from January 2023, with a $48.5 million investment over two years as part of the Job Trainer Aged Care Boost.

3. Cost of living relief – tax offset for low and middle income earners

The treasurer announced “temporary, targeted” relief for cost of living pressures.

“Higher fuel, food and shipping costs are increasing inflation and stretching household budgets,” Frydenberg noted.

The treasurer announced a one‑off $420 cost of living tax offset for low‑and‑middle income earners. Individuals already receiving the low and middle income tax offset will now receive up to $1,500 and couples up to $3,000 from 1 July this year.

4. Cost of living relief – fuel excise halved

The government will cut the fuel excise in half, saving drivers 22 cents a litre.

5. Cost of living relief – one-off payment for pensioners

Frydenberg announced a one‑off $250 Cost of Living Payment, to be paid within weeks to pensioners, carers, veterans, job seekers, eligible self‑funded retirees and concession card holders.

6. Medicines

The government has approved more than 2,800 new or amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and access to cheaper medicines for 2.4 million Australians. 

“Australians will need fewer scripts before they are eligible for free or further discounted medicines,” the treasurer said.

Trodelvy, a treatment for a rare type of breast cancer, will be funded by the PBS, saving patients up to $80,000.

The treasurer concluded his budget speech with a plea to voters.

“Over the last three years Australians have been tested. Drought, fire, floods. A global pandemic for which there was no playbook,” Frydenberg said.

“Despite the challenges, our economic recovery is leading the world.

“This is not a time to change course,” he urged.

What are your thoughts on the 2022 Budget? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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  1. Burnt 🥵 out as a health care worker. Colleagues are looking for better paid jobs. I am next in line. Unfortunately l can’t take the high demands for shifts anymore. Too much pressure time to look after myself.

  2. Disgraceful, $250 one off payment for a pensioner would not pay for a dining experience for the PM, what an insult. They just keep ignoring the facts about aged care and happily spend money on putting more levels above the provider and not one cent to the aged person.

  3. We are in serious trouble with our aged care workforce and provision of future care and support for older people . Our population is ageing and we can’t continue to pay our aged care workforce as we have been . An undervalued workforce and older people not valued or respected as they should be .

  4. Are the residents of an aged care home expecting more than they are paying for?
    They would like a choice of foods with an expectation that the food is of a restaurant quality, whilst happy to pay the minimum possible price.

    How many families visit those within the aged care home to provide comfort and a calming experience?
    It is very interesting that there has been no publicity about how many Residents abuse the care staff. No wonder why there is is staff shortages within the healthcare industry. There would be at least 12% of all aged care residents who are abusive to the care staff.
    Having witnessed resident aggression makes your heart poor out to the Carers within the aged care homes, it makes you really think about how you would feel about going to work and having a resident of the aged care home throw punches at you, and or be verbally abusive. You can only appreciate all the work of the care staff.

  5. I was disappointed that there was no announcement for a Senior Dental Benefits Scheme nor any of the other oral health recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Shocking – this omission leads to dirty mouths, hospitalisations and deaths.

  6. I was extremely disappointed with the Budget tonight, especially the cut to the amount of money for Aged Care and the lack of funds for the planning for the EMERGENCY of Climate Change. It appears to me that the oldest and the youngest in our society are NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH to our Prime Minister or our Treasurer, and the Ministers who have those relevant portfolios. (Another example is Dementia Research and funding for Early Childcare!).
    Thank you

  7. Once again we as aged care workers are overlooked and continue to struggle with the cost of living. Maybe the people in government should live on our income for 6 months to see how they cope.

  8. Nothing new. There has been no talk about Aged Care for weeks leading up to this budget only from advocates.
    I won’t be voting yes to our EBA. It will be a big NO from me. Turns out I will only be $34 better off a fortnight with the new EBA. Union has tried with my company ( big company with facilities all over the country) At $24.10 an hour these people are putting their staff way back behind inflation for the next 3 yrs and beyond! Since most staff are new and of other nationalities we have no hope of getting a fair wage. There is no hope for women working in the private sector of Aged Care facilities to get ahead. No government has the guts to do anything. We will always be short staffed as they never even agreed to having a better staff to resident ratio with the union. No hope for fairness in a job mostly driven by females.

  9. A vote to continue on ignoring aged care and the recommendations of the Royal Commission. Ignores the needs of our elders and a grossly overworked and underpaid workforce. A disgraceful budget.

  10. Maybe the Labor party might, offer the aged care sector what they are looking for, if so we all no who we will be voting for at the election. We are fed up with how this government ignore us.

  11. Yet again no response to our cry to let us pensioners work more and relive the overworked underpaid current work force. I just don’t understand them seriously take the cap off pensioners work rights, get more taxes and a better out come for all. JUST DO IT!!!!

  12. The liberals have lost the election already, by not funding aged care wage increases. Most of the Australian born staff have left

  13. Absolutely disgraceful nothing for Aged care but if you’re on the NDIS it’s a different story no government will touch it they keep throwing money at it. Why shouldn’t it be available no matter what age you are if you are disabled ? It’s pure discrimination.
    My husband, who is over 70 and has a disability. I can’t get in home help as no one wants to work in the Aged Care sector as the wages are so poor. I’m not getting any younger and finding it very difficult to keep up the high level of care he requires.
    I normally vote Liberal but am not at all happy with their policies on Aged care. The wait times for Aged Care packages are another disgrace!
    I want to hear what the Labor party has to say on helping this sector.
    We all worked and paid our taxes!!!

  14. I continue to be staggered at the stupidity of governments and their decision making ideology that focuses on short term goals, like re-election. After 17 years in the aged care industry, and 33 as a registered nurse, we have arrived at a point that was both foreseen and predicted. NSW Nurses have gone on strike today for more pay and staffing ratios. Aged care staff at all levels are underpaid especially when compared to people doing similar work in the disabilities sector, up to $9 per hour less. Ultimately the money that funds aged care, hospitals, community care and the disability sector comes from taxes, so why do the sectors get treated differently and why has the situation been set up where we are competing against each other for a scare resource? Surely someone with an eye on our future can see we are at a point not that we will probably not recover from. So who will provide any form of care in the future?

  15. Not caring for your own aging parents should be a source of shame. Stop putting yourself first. Care for those who have cared for you.

    1. Great comment. I agree. I have worked in agecare and disability over 20yrs. Many who complain about age care settings don’t do the journey. There should be a staff to patient ratio especially as many residents are complex care. The wages need to be higher Base rate $30 per hr.

  16. 24.10 still more than my hourly rate, just recieved an email advising of pay increase, I was a tad excited as after 3 years sitting on same rate when began employment… increase of $0.16/hr I thought I had read t wrong but no… when this pandemic began I had to attend covid positive residents which was high risk but confident in my ppe donning and doffing that I accepted the couple of shifts… no extra hazard pay or even a thank you yes it’s part of the job but as I was only employee that said yes to the services would have been a bit more appreciative of my work.


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