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Special role of charity must be preserved in any changes to maintain quality aged care

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changes to maintain quality aged care


Australia's leading aged care association representing the charitable and church sector has called on the Government not to destroy the social contract between government, the charitable sector and the community in the provision of care for older Australians as a result of proposed GST and FBT changes.

"Only a week ago the Prime Minister spoke of 'working in co-operation' with Australia's 'great welfare organisations to renew in a most effective way the compassionate side of our society," Mr John Ireland, the President of Aged Care Australia, said today.

"I cannot understand why his Government now seems intent on destroying this long established social contract We will be forced to reduce the level and quality of care and cut staff caring for older Australians if the Government does not reconsider the consequences of some of its tax proposals."


"ACA supports the need for taxation reform, and welcomes the commitment that nursing homes, hostels and community care services will be GST free. However we join with other community organisations in expressing our concern at the potential impact of the GST on people on low incomes and any deterioration in their well being."

"Fine tuning other aspects of the tax reform package is also vital to prevent reductions in the level and quality of aged care services and employment."

The proposal to tax the commercial and fundraising activities of the not for profit aged care providers ignores the fact that their 'profits' provide services and care not available from the government or private sources, particularly in rural areas. An extra tax will reduce this care."

"The FBT changes limiting the value of salary packaging will add to the cost of staff and services in the charitable sector. In one organisation caring for the elderly homeless, the added costs will be almost $100,000 or six staff positions and a service cost increase per client of $361 per year."

"Across the aged care sector, ACA estimates that there could be a 12% cost increase which if not met would cut one in eight staff with consequent service reductions."

"The Prime Minister has admitted the Government 'can't do everything' and needs the support o f the community sector to provide care for all Australians. But aged care provided by the charitable sector will fall rather than increase if these tax changes go ahead."

"What is the point of collecting taxes which benefit the public purse at the expense of philanthropic endeavours, or which result in a reduction of care, services and jobs?"

"ACA members question the sense of this and have asked MPs to amend the tax plans to ensure that services and jobs provided by the charitable sector are not reduced as a consequence of taxation changes," Mr Ireland said.

ACA joins with ACROD and other charitable organisations in seeking a charitable approach to tax reform. FOR INTERVIEWS : MAUREEN LYSTER CEO ACA 03 96863460/ 0416203065 JOHN IRELAND PRESIDENT ACA 0296323144/018674914/P-029141078

Special role of charity must be preserved