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Shadow Minister for Social Security, the Aged and Family Services




“In a media release dated 31 August, the Minister for Family Services claimed that John Howard’s two new nursing home fees, the ‘accommodation charge’ and the ‘income tested fee will raise $574 million and $226 million respectively over four years.


“This is a complete misrepresentation,” Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Social Security and the Aged said. “The accommodation charge is only paid by residents entering nursing homes after October 1997. The income tested fee only by residents entering after May 1998.


“I challenge the Minister to allow his Department to release the actual amounts raised so far by the accommodation charge and the income tested fee,” Jenny Macklin said.


“The Howard Government’s new fees are not providing for the capital needs of the industry.


“Service providers believe that neither the modest supplement for financially disadvantaged people, nor the controversial accommodation charge, will assist in the establishment of new services." John Ireland, President Aged Services Association 13 May 1998.

“The Budget does nothing to address capital crisis facing aged care providers” ANH&ECA 13 May 1998

“Pensioners across Australia ... will find it increasingly difficult to get access to a nursing home bed, and some facilities providing quality care may face closure over the next two years." Aged Care Australia 12 May 1998.

“The capital funding crisis in nursing homes is a time bomb which must be defused ... the restructured residential aged care program failed to provide access to sufficient funds to meet the existing capital needs of nursing homes and hostels." Aged Care Australia 27 March 1998

“The Federal Government must have a specific capital funding program. ... Capital development in many areas has ceased." Uniting Community Services Australia, Australian Catholic Health Care, ACOSS, The Salvation Army, Anglicare, Australian Pensioners & Superannuants Association. 24 March 1998.


“This hardly seems the response you would expect from a sector receiving the levels of funding claimed by the Minister,” Jenny Macklin said.


“It is because of the funding cuts made by the Howard Government that Labor has promised to restore $500 million to aged care over the first three years of a Labor Government.


1 September 1998


For additional information: Gary Moorhead (0418) 555 877