What was promised during the Federal Election? 

During the 2022 Federal Election it was plain to see that the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety gave way to significant policy and spending promises.

This is a lot of information to digest and if implemented will have an impact on the retirement living sector.

The Coalition announced that they were going to assist older Australians to unlock their home equity and get the country on the pathway to rightsizing. This was a longstanding advocacy objective of the Property Council of Australia met – and pleasingly the new Labor government also committed to implementing this recommendation.

Under the plan, Australians will be able to rightsize their property and invest up to $300,000 per person from the proceeds of the sale into their superannuation fund outside of the existing contribution caps, which would be lowered from 65 to 55 years of age. Pensioners who rightsize will also be given a two-year grace period before the proceeds of the sale of the property are subjected to asset testing for the pension, giving time for Australians to get their finances in order while still receiving the pension.

This is an exciting announcement that we are looking forward to assisting government on.

Labor has also pledged $10 billion for the Housing Australia Future Fund, which intends to build 30,000 new social and affordable housing projects.

Each year it is proposed investment returns from the Housing Australia Future Fund will be transferred to the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) to pay for social and affordable housing projects.

Over the first five years the investment returns could build around:

  • 20,000 social housing properties – 4,000 of which would be allocated for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
  • 10,000 affordable homes for frontline workers like police, nurses and cleaners who kept us safe during the pandemic.

For more information on this announcement click here.

We’ve pulled together a central spot for you to run through what could be in store for the industry under this new Labor government.

  • Registered nurses on site 24/7,
  • A mandate that all Australians in aged care receive an average of 215 minutes of care per day,
  • A pay rise for aged care workers backed by the Fair Work Commission,
  • A commitment to lifting food standards for residents, and
  • The requirement for residential care providers to report in public and private what they are spending money on.

For more information on these announcements click here.

Labor has committed to:

  • A new ‘General Duty of Care’ – which aims at creating a new path for class actions against dodgy providers,
  • Criminal and civil penalties – including jail time – for dodgy aged care providers,
  • A new aged care complaints commissioner,
  • New civil penalties to protect people who make a complaint from retaliation,
  • Stronger investigative powers for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission,
  • Mandatory care time reporting, and
  • A requirement for providers to publicly report on the expenditure of residents’ and taxpayers’ money.

It is estimated that these new changes would cost $9.8 million over the election forward estimates.

For more information on these announcements click here.

  • Cap home care fees to ‘stop rorting’, and
  • Introduce clear and transparent reporting on Home Care fees, requiring Home Care providers to give home care recipients a clear monthly breakdown of fees and services provided.

It has been reported that the cost of these changes will be met from within departmental resources.

There is more information on these announcements here.

  • New mandatory aged care food standards that are intended to ensure residents get ‘real food, which is fresh, healthy, nutritious, tasty and safe. The standards will respect cultural, religious and dietary requirements.’, and
  • New mandatory reporting rules to make ensure the Basic Daily Fee paid to providers is used for care and nutrition. Public reporting on this will also be required.

Get more information on these announcements for better food in aged care.

Labor has also committed to widening the eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card – there is no further detail on this commitment as of yet.

Labor has also announced that they will freeze deeming rates at their current levels for two years, ‘protecting around 900,000 pensioners and social security recipients from increases in interest rates.’

There is plenty to look out for.