Private providers of residential care in South Australia are calling on the state government to fall into line, by including them in land tax exemptions.
Aged Care Association Australia – SA says South Australia is now the only state which forces for-profit providers to pay land tax.
The group estimates that each facility is being taxed $18,000 on average, while the total cost to the state’s 55 private providers is close to $1 million per annum.
The bulk of the South Australia’s aged care facilities are run by church and charitable organisations, and receive exemptions as a result of their not-for-profit status.
Adding to the frustration of private providers is a comment made by the South Australian Government in its recent submission to the Senate Inquiry into aged care.
It said: “Australian Government funding frameworks have not been adjusted over time to allow providers to meet consumer expectations, required quality outcomes and increased business costs.”
The CEO of ACAA-SA, Paul Carberry said the state government’s comments were an act of “breathtaking hypocrisy”.
“On the one hand, they are telling the Commonwealth Government that funding is inadequate but on the other hand they are taking some of that inadequate funding and putting it in their own pockets, instead of leaving it to be used for the care of the elderly,” he said.
“In terms of the state’s annual budget it’s a tiny amount, but in terms of the impact on providers themselves it is a significant amount.
“That adds up to a part-time member of staff who could be caring for residents with that money.”