Tag: Morrison

Morrison government to spend $1.6bn funding at-home care for older Australians

The Morrison government says it will fund 23,000 new packages for older Australians waiting to receive at home care, at a cost of $1.6bn.



a person sitting on a bed: Photograph: Yui Mok/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Tuesday’s budget increases the number of approved home care packages available over the next four years in response to both the aged care royal commission and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The interim report of the royal commission found the government needed to act urgently to reduce waiting times for older Australians seeking in-home support.

For the past two years, more than 100,000 Australians have been on wait lists for approved home care packages, with tens of thousands entering residential care prematurely as a result.

Related: How much will I get from the 2020 federal budget tax cuts? More if you earn over $100,000

The government has been under pressure over its aged care response during the pandemic. There have been more than 670 deaths nationally in aged care facilities, more than 640 of those in Victoria, and older Australians have been left to languish in soiled beds and clothes without proper food and hydration.



The Australian government has announced additional funding for aged care after criticism of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.


© Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
The Australian government has announced additional funding for aged care after criticism of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The health minister, Greg Hunt, said on Tuesday there would be an extra $81m for additional staff and training, on top of $101.2m the government announced for this purpose in March.

The health budget comprises $467bn in overall spending over four years, $16.5bn of that makes up the emergency response to the pandemic.

The government says it will increase funding for hospitals by $33.6bn over the new five-year national health reform agreement and provide $5.7bn for mental health, including already announced funding to double the number if Medicare-funded psychology sessions from 10 to 20.

Related: Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s 2020 budget speech – in full

Hunt said the budget would fund the government’s ongoing response to the pandemic and “helps chart the road out”, with aged care “a particular focus”.

Total funding in aged care will be $23.9bn over the forward estimates – an increase of $2.2bn Hunt said – including the $1.6bn for home care packages.

The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said on Tuesday night that aged care was “one of the greatest challenges we face in delivering essential services to Australians”.

He said additional responses and funding would be informed by the final report from the royal commission.

“The government will provide a comprehensive response to the final recommendations following receipt of that report,” he said. “This will involve significant additional investment.”

Tuesday’s budget includes $2.3bn in announced funding for investment in Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and funding for the listing of new drugs on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, including Lynparza for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Related: Less Thatcher, more vanilla slice: Frydenberg’s 2020 Australian budget packs a sugar hit | Amy Remeikis

The government will provide $750m in funding for Covid-19 testing, $171m for the extended operation of up

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Morrison government to spend $1.6bn funding at-home care for older Australians | Australian budget 2020

The Morrison government says it will fund 23,000 new packages for older Australians waiting to receive at home care, at a cost of $1.6bn.

Tuesday’s budget increases the number of approved home care packages available over the next four years in response to both the aged care royal commission and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The interim report of the royal commission found the government needed to act urgently to reduce waiting times for older Australians seeking in-home support.

For the past two years, more than 100,000 Australians have been on wait lists for approved home care packages, with tens of thousands entering residential care prematurely as a result.

The government has been under pressure over its aged care response during the pandemic. There have been more than 670 deaths nationally in aged care facilities, more than 640 of those in Victoria, and older Australians have been left to languish in soiled beds and clothes without proper food and hydration.

The health minister, Greg Hunt, said on Tuesday there would be an extra $81m for additional staff and training, on top of $101.2m the government announced for this purpose in March.

The health budget comprises $467bn in overall spending over four years, $16.5bn of that makes up the emergency response to the pandemic.

The government says it will increase funding for hospitals by $33.6bn over the new five-year national health reform agreement and provide $5.7bn for mental health, including already announced funding to double the number if Medicare-funded psychology sessions from 10 to 20.

Hunt said the budget would fund the government’s ongoing response to the pandemic and “helps chart the road out”, with aged care “a particular focus”.

Total funding in aged care will be $23.9bn over the forward estimates – an increase of $2.2bn Hunt said – including the $1.6bn for home care packages.

The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, said on Tuesday night that aged care was “one of the greatest challenges we face in delivering essential services to Australians”.

He said additional responses and funding would be informed by the final report from the royal commission.

“The government will provide a comprehensive response to the final recommendations following receipt of that report,” he said. “This will involve significant additional investment.”

Tuesday’s budget includes $2.3bn in announced funding for investment in Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and funding for the listing of new drugs on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, including Lynparza for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

The government will provide $750m in funding for Covid-19 testing, $171m for the extended operation of up to 150 dedicated respiratory clinics to manage and diagnose Covid-19 cases, and $112m for the continuation of Medicare rebated telehealth services for GP, allied health and specialist consultations.

The government said it would provide a further $3.9bn for the NDIS.

The government said it would also provide a “targeted capital gains tax exemption” for granny flats – where there is a written agreement – that will apply to older Australians and Australians with a disability.

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Will the Morrison government learn from its Covid success or return to trickle-down economics?

Reality constantly reminds us that the biggest risk the pandemic poses is to those who think it is less than it seems. From the White House to the safe house, this is a virus that locks on to system weakness and exploits individual arrogance.



Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA

The US presidential race is paralysed because one of the candidates believed he had the power to wish it away and let freedom reign, while countries like Sweden that chose to let it run are paying a higher economic cost than those whose governments swung into action.

Closer to home, Victorians have been living the repercussions of the previously unchallenged orthodoxies that you can outsource public safety and transform the care for our oldest and most vulnerable from a public service into a market.

Related: Essential poll: tax cuts brought forward but only 25% of voters think budget will benefit them

It’s as if the virus is engaging in a real-time critique of the free market ideology that decrees big government is bad, taxes are a burden, caring for others is counterproductive and the market will always determine the best course of action.

As Kurt Anderson has outlined in his excellent new book Evil Geniuses, these assumptions lie at the heart of a political model ruthlessly promoted for the past 50 years by an organised cabal of wealthy industrialists, libertarians and the “useful idiots” they seconded to their cause.



Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: ‘The levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the current crisis hit.’


© Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA
‘The levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the current crisis hit.’

Now, as the world thinks through a recovery to the pandemic’s shock, the Friedman model of trickle-down economics, deregulation and rabid individualism is finally coming under scrutiny.

This context takes centre stage as the Morrison government releases its delayed budget later on Tuesday. Like so much of what this government does, the plan has been broken into so many pre-packaged announce-ables that it’s hard to see a bigger picture. But there is one.

While there is no hiding the fact that the prematurely celebrated budget surplus is history, the levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the crisis hit. It’s business as usual with a deferred payment plan.

Related: Budget 2020: Coalition hopes to drag Australia out of recession with tax cuts and big spending

We caught this thinking in the government’s initial response to the forced lockdown: incentives for small businesses to invest in expansion when all they were thinking about was survival; incentives for home renovations when a new pagoda is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

These were textbook Freidman-inspired attempts to bookkeep our way through a downturn, giving business and individuals financial incentives to do things that were against their disposition. Unsurprisingly, they were undersubscribed and fell flat.

It wasn’t until the crisis prompted the government to put money directly into the pockets of those most vulnerable that the

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Will Morrison government learn from its Covid success or return to trickle-down economics? | Peter Lewis | Opinion

Reality constantly reminds us that the biggest risk the pandemic poses is to those who think it is less than it seems. From the White House to the safe house, this is a virus that locks on to system weakness and exploits individual arrogance.

The US presidential race is paralysed because one of the candidates believed he had the power to wish it away and let freedom reign, while countries like Sweden that chose to let it run are paying a higher economic cost than those whose governments swung into action.

Closer to home, Victorians have been living the repercussions of the previously unchallenged orthodoxies that you can outsource public safety and transform the care for our oldest and most vulnerable from a public service into a market.

It’s as if the virus is engaging in a real-time critique of the free market ideology that decrees big government is bad, taxes are a burden, caring for others is counterproductive and the market will always determine the best course of action.

As Kurt Anderson has outlined in his excellent new book Evil Geniuses, these assumptions lie at the heart of a political model ruthlessly promoted for the past 50 years by an organised cabal of wealthy industrialists, libertarians and the “useful idiots” they seconded to their cause.

Now, as the world thinks through a recovery to the pandemic’s shock, the Friedman model of trickle-down economics, deregulation and rabid individualism is finally coming under scrutiny.

This context takes centre stage as the Morrison government releases its delayed budget later on Tuesday. Like so much of what this government does, the plan has been broken into so many pre-packaged announce-ables that it’s hard to see a bigger picture. But there is one.

While there is no hiding the fact that the prematurely celebrated budget surplus is history, the levers the government is pulling seem geared to getting the economy back to where it was before the crisis hit. It’s business as usual with a deferred payment plan.

We caught this thinking in the government’s initial response to the forced lockdown: incentives for small businesses to invest in expansion when all they were thinking about was survival; incentives for home renovations when a new pagoda is the last thing on anyone’s mind.

These were textbook Freidman-inspired attempts to bookkeep our way through a downturn, giving business and individuals financial incentives to do things that were against their disposition. Unsurprisingly, they were undersubscribed and fell flat.

It wasn’t until the crisis prompted the government to put money directly into the pockets of those most vulnerable that the strategy began to work. Doubling unemployment support and providing struggling businesses with a Keynesian lifeline may have been anathema, but it got money circulating in a shocked economy.

The big question for today’s budget is: can the government can learn from these successes? Early indications suggest not.

The choices the government is making speak to a desire to go back to the way things were. Tax cuts

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Under the cover of Covid, Morrison wants to scrap my government’s protections against predatory lending

Pardon me for being just a little suspicious, but when I see an avalanche of enthusiasm from such reputable institutions as the Morrison government, the Murdoch media and the Australian Banking Association (anyone remember the Hayne royal commission?) about the proposed “reform” of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, I smell a very large rodent. “Reform” here is effectively code language for repeal. And it means the repeal of major legislation introduced by my government to bring about uniform national laws to protect Australian consumers from unregulated and often predatory lending practices.



Josh Frydenberg, Scott Morrison are posing for a picture: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

The banks of course have been ecstatic at Morrison’s announcement, chiming in with the government’s political chimeric that allowing the nation’s lenders once again to just let it rip was now essential for national economic recovery. Westpac, whose reputation was shredded during the royal commission, was out of the blocks first in welcoming the changes: CEO Peter King said they would “reduce red tape”, “speed up the process for customers to obtain approval”, and help small businesses access credit to invest and grow.

And right on cue, Westpac shares were catapulted 7.2% to $17.54 just before midday on the day of announcement. National Australia Bank was up more than 6% at $18.26, ANZ up more than 5% at $17.76, and Commonwealth Bank was trading almost 3.5% higher at $66.49. The popping of champagne corks could be heard right around the country as the banks, once again, saw the balance of market power swing in their direction and away from consumers. And that means more profit and less consumer protection.

Related: Frydenberg’s move to dump lending laws ‘shortsighted’, consumer groups say

A little bit of history first. Back in the middle of the global financial crisis, when the banks came on bended knee to our government seeking sovereign guarantees to preserve their financial lifelines to international lines of credit, we acted decisively to protect them, and their depositors, and to underpin the stability of the Australian financial system. And despite a hail of abuse from both the Liberal party and the Murdoch media at the time, we succeeded. Not only did we keep Australia out of the global recession then wreaking havoc across all developed economies, we also prevented any single financial institution from falling over and protected every single Australian’s savings deposits. Not bad, given the circumstances.



Josh Frydenberg, Scott Morrison are posing for a picture: ‘It is more important than ever that there are no unnecessary barriers to the flow of credit,’ says Scott Morrison. But, writes Kevin Rudd, the Coalition government is ‘bereft of intellectual talent and policy ideas in dealing with the real challenge of national economic recovery’.


© Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
‘It is more important than ever that there are no unnecessary barriers to the flow of credit,’ says Scott Morrison. But, writes Kevin Rudd, the Coalition government is ‘bereft of intellectual talent and policy ideas in dealing with the real challenge of national economic recovery’.

But we were also crystal-clear with the banks and other lenders at the time that we would be acting to protect working families from future predatory lending practices. And we did so. The national consumer credit protection bill 2009 (credit bill) and the national consumer credit protection (fees) bill 2009 (fees bill) collectively made

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