Aged care commitments fall short

Health Services Union

HSU National President Gerard Hayes:

“Aged care has been in chronic crisis for years and this funding package won’t change that. This barely makes up for the $10 billion worth of cuts that have been inflicted over the last eight years.

“For carers, therapists and support workers there is no commitment to permanent, better paid jobs. Clearly, the Government’s plan is to continue exploiting the goodwill of an insecure, underpaid workforce of women.

“To properly attract and retain a dedicated workforce, the Government must commit to paying aged care workers more than $21 an hour. It had a chance to do that tonight and it failed.

“Committing to increased care minutes is entirely hollow unless you have a plan to attract and retain the workforce needed to provide that care.

“Modelling commissioned by our union found the need in residential aged care alone amounts to $20.4 billion over four years. This would create 59,000 skilled aged care jobs, provide a $5 dollar per hour pay rise and provide residents an extra 89 care minutes per day.

“The Grattan Institute puts the total four year need at $28 billion, when the cost of home care is added. Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have delivered a fraction of what’s needed.

“Aged care workers and residents had high expectations after years of banging the drum, giving evidence to the Royal Commission and pleading for change. Tonight they are disappointed, but their will is not broken. We will continue fighting for a properly resourced aged care system.

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