Mar 16, 2023

Attacks on support services in Australia reach alarming heights

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Former Australian Defence Minister and Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton, has suggested that he would support the Government if it made tough decisions on budget blowouts in areas such as disability and aged care spending. 

These comments have sparked a fierce backlash, with experts and advocates condemning the suggestion that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) could be targeted for cuts.

Mr Peter Dutton has suggested the Coalition would offer bipartisan support for cuts to the NDIS to keep it “sustainable” for participants.

“It’s an incredibly important program but it needs to be sustainable. And if the cost trajectory of that is going to result in it falling over, I think the Government itself has pointed out that’s not sustainable,” he told The Guardian.

Calls for “sustainability” or cuts to aged care funding would impact older people who rely on these services to live with dignity and respect.

Any cuts to the NDIS could potentially have knock-on effects for older people with disabilities. Additionally, cuts to the NDIS could increase the pressure on the aged care system, which is already facing significant challenges in meeting the needs of an ageing population.

The calls also follows news that the aged care sector is running at a significant loss, and would add more pressure to find desperate funding to keep it afloat.

This focus on the cost-cutting the NDIS and aged care is both misleading and damaging for older people who access aged care services and/or the NDIS. 

This announcement stands in stark contrast to the Government’s willingness to spend huge sums of money on other projects, such as a new fleet of submarines

In the coming year, there are big shifts expected for people with disabilities and the services they use. The NDIS review and the final report of the Disability Royal Commission are both likely to recommend changes to how the scheme is delivered. These changes should be focused on making the scheme work better for older people living with a disability and their families, rather than simply reducing costs.

Just over half of Australians aged over 65 years old live with a disability, with almost 20% of older Australians living with a profound or severe disability.  

Cuts to NDIS and aged care funding could impact these sectors’ ability to . 

Aged care is an essential part of Australia’s social infrastructure and it is vital that it continue to provide support to elderly Australians and their families.

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  1. Dutton was around when Scott Morrison attacked aged care funding in 2015 ..and for the next eight years. It crippled growth and caused great hardship that forced homes to close, cut staff and certainly not grow to fill the needs of an ageing population.

    The $2billion initially taken from old Australian people was thrown at “home care” along with countless other billions and it simply isn’t providing safe reliable care.
    Let’s not repeat earlier mistakes Mr Dutton.

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