The flow of pre-budget announcements continues ahead of Josh Frydenberg’s big night and with details of a massive package for aged care still to come. The treasurer says his third budget on Tuesday will include a senior care pledge bigger than the $10 billion a year previously speculated.
It will include reforms to home care and residential care and governance and skills and training initiatives. “It is a very significant commitment designed to deal with what the royal commission has found to strengthen our system and ensure that older Australians can retire.
Can live with dignity, respect, and with safety,” he told the Nine Network on Sunday. Health Minister Greg Hunt and Minister for Women Marise Payne also announced a $353.9 million health package for women spread over four years, which provides funding for cervical and breast cancer. Mr. Frydenberg said the budget will include a separate women’s statement on women’s economic, safety, and health.
“You would have to go back more than a decade to see anything equivalent from that,” Mr. Frydenberg said.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers hopes the budget isn’t another missed opportunity.
“It can’t just be another trillion-dollar political patch-and-paint job,” Dr. Chalmers told ABC’s Insiders program. It can’t be the type of budget which is just geared towards the next election and not the next decade.” But Mr. Frydenberg insists the funding primarily aims to protect the economy from the ongoing pandemic and secure jobs.
“It is a pandemic budget. We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Mr. Frydenberg said.
“The budget is about people staying safe with a series of health measures and ensuring more people get into work because we have got the unemployment rate down to 5.6 percent, but we want to drive it back to where it was in the early stages of that pandemic which was 5 percent.”