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More Labor lies - this time in ageing!



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Media Release

Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells Shadow Minister for Ageing Shadow Minister for Mental Health

Thursday 22 August 2013

More Labor lies - this time in ageing!

Coalition Shadow Minister for Ageing, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says the Prime Minister is again up to his usual practice of distorting the truth and changing historical facts.

Yesterday the Prime Minister claimed that Tony Abbott and the Coalition tried repeatedly to defer and block the consideration of Labor’s Living Longer Living Better legislation which the government detailed in its response to the Productivity Commission’s review - Caring for Older Australians.

Mr Rudd went on to claim that “the Coalition are planning $70 billion in cuts and this means services for older Australians would be in the firing line under an Abbott led government”.

Mr Rudd also claims that Labor “backed these historic reforms with a record investment of $3.7 billion in aged care”.

“Let’s set the record absolutely straight on these very creative but absolutely incorrect lines by Mr Rudd,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

These are the facts:

• The Productivity Commission report - Caring for Older Australians - commissioned by the Rudd Government, was released in August 2011.

• The Government did not respond to the Productivity Commission’s Caring for Older Australians report for more than 250 days.

• Legislation was not introduced into the Parliament for a further 327 days.

• While the debate was still underway in the House of Representatives, the Coalition initiated the referral of the five Living Longer Living Better package of Bills to the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

• Over 100 submissions were received by the Senate Committee and public hearings were held in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.

• The Coalition did move amendments in the Senate to some sections of the Bills in the 45 minutes before the Government guillotined debate. These were not supported by the Labor/Green alliance.

• The Coalition has no plans for $70 billion in cuts and therefore no threats to services for senior Australians.

• The $3.7 billion investment highlighted by Mr Rudd is all pre-existing funding commitments except for $577 million in new funding over the forward estimates.

• While the Coalition was critical of the Government’s delay in responding to the need for reform, we engaged constructively in the process and have supported the intent of the Productivity Commission report.

• Contrary to Labor claims, the Coalition did not oppose the Government’s legislation.

This is a government which can never be trusted to tell the truth.

The Coalition is determined that Australia keeps faith with those who have contributed so much to the building of our country.

The delivery of a high-quality, affordable and accessible aged care scheme that meets the needs and preferences of older Australians is a priority for the Coalition.

Media enquiries: Tony Rolfe 0419 626 234