Opposition and Labor find common ground on aged care Budget measures

May 12, 2023
Dutton's support for Labor's aged care budget measures is encouraging news for older Australians. Source: Getty Images.

While Opposition Leader Peter Dutton used his Budget reply speech to take the Labor party to task over several of their measures, he did acknowledge the importance of measures aimed at improving the ailing aged care sector.

Dutton’s endorsement of Labor’s budget measures aimed at enhancing the ailing aged care sector is great news for older Australians, as it signifies a potential for meaningful improvements in the quality of care and services provided.

“We support the Budget measures in aged care  which build on the $30 billion we invested in government,” Dutton said.

“Australians who have worked hard, raised a family and paid taxes deserve a dignified and respectful life as they age.

“The aged care system has been under strain for decades and we support the additional investment.

“It’s incredibly important, given the increasing need, to take care of elderly Australians.

“Aged care funding is not a magic pudding.

“A respectful, dignified, world-class aged care system is only funded by residents or taxpayers.

“I want to work with the Government to ensure that our aged care system remains sustainable.

“I am a person of my word.”

The Budget will see Labor commit $11.3 billion towards funding a substantial 15 per cent pay increase for aged care workers, matching the recent Fair Work Commission’s directive for the sector.

The significant investment is expected to draw more staff to the sector and will be a vital step forward towards the government’s commitment to improving the quality of aged care in Australia.

In addition, the government has allocated a sum of $166.8 million to facilitate 9,500 more Home Care Packages, which will benefit older Australians who wish to continue living in the comfort of their homes

Although Dutton agreed with Labor on improving aged care services across the nation he did take issue with a number of measures that were put forward, citing “five things the Treasurer failed to mention which are important to all Australians”.

The five areas which Dutton took issue with included:

  • 10 million Australians who earn under $126,000 will face a tax hike and around 175,000 more Australians will be unemployed.
  • Millions of middle Australians – the backbone of our country – are worse off. This Government is spending an additional $185 billion, yet middle-income Australians won’t receive one cent.
  • Amidst a housing and rental crisis, our migration numbers will increase massively by 1.5 million people over five years – the highest number in our country’s history and more than the population of Adelaide. Without addressing housing supply and infrastructure, where will these people live.
  • Your power bills are still going up by more than $500.
  • As a result of the Government’s policies, inflation will only stay higher for longer, continuing to grind down real incomes of households.


Dutton also zeroed in on the Government’s energy policies, claiming “your electricity bill is still going up by more than $500”.

“Yet, you were promised on 97 occasions by this Prime Minister they would go down by $275,” he said. ”

“I would love to see a copy of anyone’s power bill that’s gone down by $275 since Mr Albanese made that promise.

“Moreover, Labor promised that the average household’s power bills would be around $1,200 in 2024-25.

“Based on forecasts in the Budget, they will be in excess of $2,000 per annum. Australians thought there was help on the way in this Budget.

“But a family with children – and a mortgage – is $25,000 worse off under Labor.

“Very few Australians can say they are better off today than they were 12 months ago when Labor was elected.”

While delivering his Budget speech, Chalmers this year’s Budget was about “seeing our people through the hard times – and setting our country up for a better future.”

“In all our decisions, we seek to strike a considered, methodical balance,” he said.

“Between spending restraint to keep the pressure off inflation, while doing what we can to help people struggling to make ends meet.

“Making sure vital services like Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme are secure, reliable and sustainable.

“And dealing with immediate, near‑term challenges – while investing in our long‑term national success.”


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