May 09, 2018

More choices for a longer life

The 2018-19 Budget will deliver the More Choices For a Longer Life package which will support older Australians to live longer and be better prepared, healthier, more independent and connected to their communities.

The Package gives older Australians more choices and greater flexibility, including:

  • An additional 14,000 high-level home care packages so older Australians can stay in their homes longer if they want to;
  • Allowing pensioners to earn more without reducing their pension;
  • Greater flexibility to use home equity to increase retirement incomes.

Since the last Budget, the Turnbull Government has delivered an extra 20,000 high-level home care packages, to support people to live at home longer.

We will provide 13,500 new residential aged care places and 775 short-term restorative places to be made available where they are most needed, plus $60 million for capital investment.

We will also invest $40.0 million to support aged care providers in regional, rural and remote Australia for urgent building and maintenance works.

More than $105 million will improve access to culturally safe aged care services in remote Indigenous communities.

The Turnbull Government will establish an Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to create a tough cop on the beat to ensure older Australians receive the best possible care, with an additional $50 million to assist providers implement the new standards.

MyAged Care will be improved with an investment of $61.7 million to make it easier to use, along with simplifying the forms required to apply for aged care services, and $7.4 million to trial navigators to assist people to choose the aged care services that suit their needs.

We will invest $32.8 million to improve palliative care for older Australians living in residential aged care, filling current gaps in support services, $5.3 million for innovations in managing dementia, and $102.5 million for mental health programs for older Australians.

And people over 65 will be assisted to undertake more physical activity, with locally-based sporting organisations receiving grants totalling $22.9 million to deliver new programs for older Australians.

The Government is helping Australians to work for as long as they want, laying the foundations for a secure retirement. We will provide up to $10,000 in Restart wage subsidies for employing Australians aged 50 and over. The Skills and Training incentive will provide up to $2,000 to fund up-skilling opportunities for mature aged workers. 

The 2018-19 Budget delivers measures to boost living standards and expand retirement income options to give retirees confidence in their financial security.

We are increasing the Pension Work Bonus to allow age pensioners to earn an extra $50 per fortnight without reducing their pension. The Pension Loans Scheme will be expanded giving greater flexibility to use home equity to boost retirement incomes, e.g. up to $17,787 a year for a full rate age pensioner (couple).

This article is a statement recently released by the Minister for Aged Care.

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