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Andrews has no answers to aged care providers



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THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING MEMBER FOR BLAIR

MEDIA RELEASE

Andrews has no answers to aged care providers

Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews has failed to address real and significant concerns after the Abbott Government’s Budget of Betrayal ripped away $652.7 million from the aged care sector.

The Minister could not provide a rationale for the cessation of the Aged Care Payroll Tax Supplement when questioned in the Federation Chamber today as part of the Appropriation Bills Consideration in Detail.

He could not outline the impact this shock funding cut would have on job losses, future investment in much needed aged care infrastructure, inevitable price increases passed onto older Australians, the resulting artificial wage restraint, and competitive neutrality between the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.

In fact Minister Andrews could provide no evidence the Government had even considered the impact on the sector or undertaken any modelling or consultation.

Following five minutes of detailed questions all the Minister could muster was a 45 second answer which simply said “Payroll Tax is essentially a State tax.”

Mr Andrews has demonstrated he is either uninterested in aged care or ignorant of the impact his Government’s priorities will have on aged care providers, prices, investment and jobs.

The Aged Care sector is in the midst of significant pricing and financing changes as a result of the continued roll out of Labor’s Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms, which had bipartisan support.

The Abbott Government has let down the aged care sector, which is not known for its super profits. The sector is under significant pressure enough and the timing and manner of the cessation of this supplement is evidence the Abbott Government has the wrong priorities.

WEDNESDAY, 18 JUNE 2014