16 May 2016

Meanness and the LNP mean the same thing to Australia's aged. Underhanded action in the budget proves it without a doubt.

Aged care, if you ever needed confirmation as to how invisible this group has become you only needed to look at the 2016 federal budget and its attack on residents of aged care facilities.

These most vulnerable and needy Australians rely almost totally on the nursing home provider for their safety, comfort and quality of life and, as is appropriate in our nation, on the taxpayer that provides support from the department of health.

Appropriately, the extent of that financial support depends on the needs of the individuals, including their level of frailty, the pain they experience and the extent of their dementia. Those assessed as the neediest are able to draw the most funds. This is determined by the aged care funding instrument, the tool that determines how much support will be provided.

This month’s budget delivered a brutal cut to this program ripping out $1.2bn over four years. That means an incredible $300m less each year to support services for the most frail and needy in aged care homes. Apparently it’s appropriate that they pay for the tax cuts for small business and those earning over $80,000 per year. It’s easy to ignore the invisible.

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