THE Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government will meet its election commitments in aged care through increased funding which is better targeted and more flexible.
The previous government’s aged care workforce supplement, which imposed red tape on aged care providers, will be repurposed into increased payments to all home and residential aged care providers, resulting in a 2.4 per cent increase from 1 July 2014, Mr Joyce said.
“Providers will have more flexibility in how to use these additional funds than they would have under the prescriptive requirements of Labor’s workforce supplement, meaning they will be able to target it to their areas of highest need,” Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said regional, rural and remote providers will also benefit from a 20 per cent increase to the viability supplement under the repurposed workforce supplement funding.
“This measure is a $54 million boost to regional, rural and remote providers and takes into account the unique challenges faced by aged care providers in these locations,” he said.
Mr Joyce said this new funding arrangement will give aged care providers a boost in funding while also giving each individual provider the flexibility they need to direct the funds to the areas where they need it most.
This and other red tape reduction measures contained in the budget will allow providers to focus on what they do best – providing quality care to older Australians,” Mr Joyce said.
From 1 January 2015, the Commonwealth will cease paying residential aged care providers the payroll tax supplement, which is currently paid to providers with a state/territory government payroll tax liability.
He said this measure was a recommendation of the national commission of audit, because in effect it meant that one level of government was subsidising a taxation measure of another level of government.
This will be an important measure to help the government to repair the budget, Mr Joyce said.