The shadow ageing minister, Margaret May has taken the Rudd Government to task for overlooking aged care in the recent federal budget.
Mrs May told federal parliament that the government had ignored the Senate inquiry report, a Productivity Commission Report and its own National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission report.
“I believe this government is not serious about addressing the challenges of an ageing population in this country,” Mrs May said.
“The Rudd government’s poorly targeted cash-splash handouts and reckless spending have come at a high cost to the aged-care sector, which has missed out as a result.”
Mrs May also criticised the government for leaving aged care out of the two pre-budget stimulus packages.
“Investing in local aged-care infrastructure would have provided long-term economic and social benefits and created vital local jobs,” she said.
“There were no reform measures in this budget to improve the availability, quality, flexibility and sustainability of aged-care services throughout this country.”
The shadow minister concluded by acknowledging that the industry is under considerable stress.
“I think it is disappointing that in this budget we did not see anything for aged care for the next 12 months,” she said.
“We saw cuts in the budget but nothing to assist with the infrastructure needs of the aged-care industry and, indeed, for those people requiring aged-care services in their own home.”