In the May Budget, the Coalition government announced plans to cut $1.2b in aged care funding over the next three years, by reducing ACFI funding for performing the same services.

These cuts come on top of earlier cuts to payroll tax supplement, dementia supplement and leave supplements.  The aged care industry has been repeatedly targeted by the Coalition for cuts.

Industry modeling has projected the actual cuts will be far worse than the $1.2b announced in the budget – up  to 13% of total subsidy.  This is a dangerous, irresponsible cut for the government to make to aged care providers in pursuit of balancing the budget and puts each business’ ongoing viability at risk.  GPs only have a Medicare freeze, while aged care providers go backwards!

As these cuts roll out from 1 July 2016 and 1 January 2017, SCG and all other providers will be required to review staffing levels, service delivery and capital investment and replacement.  We will have to tighten our belts as the Coalition government has clearly shown it does not consider aged care a priority.

Come election day, I urge you to review the competing aged care policies of the parties and vote for a party which supports aged care with adequate funding to care for our vulnerable residents.

We need to tell the government that aged care is not a budget line item which can be targeted every year to fix Canberra’s budget problems.  The most powerful way for you to do that is with your vote.

Russell D Egan

Chief Executive Officer