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Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Page: 2758

Senator Cormann asked the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing, upon notice, on 17 December 2008:

Does the Government outlay the full amount that it budgets each year on aged care.

(a)   Did the Government budget to spend $6.7 billion on aged care in the 2007-08 financial year; and (b) did the Government actually spend that amount or was it less as the income tested fee deductions were greater than budgeted for.

Senator Ludwig (Minister for Human Services) —The Minister for Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The aged care budget provisions comprise both annual appropriations and special appropriations.  The budget provisions for the special appropriations in respect of residential care, community care and flexible care subsidies, are only estimates. The final outcome will reflect the actual claims for payment and may exceed or fall short of, the budget estimates.

The actual outlays can be reconciled to the budget estimates by reference to the Department of Health and Ageing Annual Reports and/or the Portfolio Budget Statements.

(a)   No.

The actual outlays on residential care subsidies and supplements for 2007-08 financial year amounted to $6.0 billion.

There was a difference between estimated and actual expenditure of $0.1 billion (1.6 per cent of total residential care expenditure) because the value of claims against the demand driven residential aged care program were less than estimated.