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Supporting Senior Australians

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SUPPORTING PENSIONERS

Our welfare system provides an important safety net for over 2.5 million age pensioners.

Income Support for seniors is increasing by $6.7 billion – from $50.1 billion in 2019-20 to $56.8 billion in 2022-23.

Since our Government was elected in 2013, pensions have increased by $179.20 per fortnight for singles and $270 per fortnight for couples.

To support pensioners during the pandemic, $750 payments were provided in April and July 2020 and further $250 payments were provided in December 2020 and March 2021.

The 2022 Budget provides cost of living relief with a one-off $250 cost of living payment for more than 6 million Australians including pensioners, veterans, eligible self-funded retirees and concession card holders.

Older Australians have also been supported by a reduction in deeming rates (which are used to help calculate income from assets and eligibility for pensions).

COMMONWEALTH SENIORS HEALTH CARD

To help senior Australians manage the rising costs of living, the Morrison Government is investing around $70 million to expand eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

From 1 July 2022, the income test threshold will be increased to $90,000 singles (up from $57,761) and $144,000 for couples (up from $92,416).

This change will assist an extra 50,000 older Australians.

Every dollar counts, especially for older Australians who are no longer working. Senior Australians have worked hard to make Australia all that it is today, and it’s important that the country takes care of them in return.

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card provides older Australians access to Australian Government concessions on medical and pharmaceutical costs. They may also be eligible for state, territory and local government savings such as discounted rates, electricity and gas bills, ambulance, dental, eye care, recreation and public transport.

The cards are available to Australian residents over Age Pension age who are not already receiving a pension and have an adjusted taxable income under the threshold.

There is no assets test for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

CASHLESS DEBIT CARD

No age pensioner or DSP recipient will be forced onto the Cashless Debit Card (CDC).

The Government has never had such a plan and never will.

On 17 June 2021, the Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston reaffirmed this commitment, stating in Parliament that the Australian Government will not extend the CDC to age pensioners.

This same commitment has been made countless times by the Prime Minister and other members of the Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the cashless debit card will not “be put to pensioners”.

“I can assure you we’re not going to do that,” 20/04/2022.

The Council of The Ageing CEO ian Yates has described the Labor claims “as just not true”.

The Examiners Editorial recently stated ‘This is a claim so lacking in substance that Labor should be embarrassed” ( The Examiner 14/04/2022).

Labor’s scare campaign has also been flatly rejected by ABC Fact Check.

BETTER HEALTH CARE

Federal funding for public hospitals has already doubled – from $13.3 billion under Labor (in 2012-13) to $27.2 billion (in 2022-23). With our five year hospital agreements it is due to increase to $30.7 billion in 2024-25.

This means record numbers of hospital services, doctors and nurses.

More Australians are now seeing their doctor without having to pay.

The GP bulk billing rate last year (12 months to June 2021) was 88.8%, up from 82.2% in 2012-13 (Labor’s last year in government).

More than 152.2 million bulk billed GP services were delivered in 2020-21 – 46.4m more than in 2012-13.

Since we came into government, over 2,900 new or amended medicine listings worth $16.5 billion have been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

These medicines help people suffering from cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and chronic migraines.

Some of these cost thousands of dollars, but are now available for $6.80 per script for concession card holders.

We have taken steps to make private health insurance more affordable. This includes requiring insurers to categorise products as gold, silver, bronze or basic, and use standard definitions to make clear what’s covered and what isn’t.

In the 2022 Budget, we provide greater access to cheaper medicines for 2.4 million Australians with fewer scripts needed for free or further discounted medicines.

And to further reduce costs, a re-elected Morrison Government will also lower the PBS Medicines General Co-payment from 1 January 2023 by $10 per script.

This means the maximum price Australians will pay for PBS medicines drops from $42.50 down to $32.50 per script, a 24 per cent saving. Concession card holders pay only $6.80 per script.

This is the first time the PBS Medicine General Co-payment has been reduced by any Government and will benefit the more than 19 million Australians.

To ensure we protect vulnerable Australians, while transitioning to living with COVID-19, we have invested a further $2.1 billion in the Winter Response Plan. This includes a further 161 million units of PPE and 26 million Rapid Antigen Tests distributed to residential aged care facilities.

MORE SUPPORT FOR AGED CARE

Since we came to government, funding for aged care has more than doubled – from $13.3 billion in 2012-13 to $30.1 billion in 2022-23. It will increase to an estimated $34.7 billion by 2025-26.

The Morrison Government has provided more than $2.6 billion of direct assistance to support senior Australians in aged care during the pandemic.

The Government has committed to a five-year $18.8 billion plan to improve aged care, with new home care packages, respite services, training places, retention bonuses and infrastructure upgrades.

Under this plan, 40,000 home care packages, over 48,000 additional training places, 7,000 new personal care workers and 8,400 respite services will be rolled out this year.

There are now 233,000 people with access to a home care package, and 275,000 places will be available by 2023.

This year’s Budget provides more than $345 million to embed pharmacy services within residential aged care facilities to improve medication management for the elderly.

These investments build on our commitment to improve the quality of aged care by:

  • Increasing the time nurses and carers are required to spend with residents.
  • Making an additional payment of $10 per day per resident to boost the viability of the aged care sector.
  • Providing 33,000 new training places for personal carers and a new Indigenous workforce.
  • Retention bonuses for nurses.
  • Increased access to respite services.

BETTER PERFORMING SUPER

Every year Australians pay more than $30 billion in superannuation fees and charges.

This is more than what Australians pay in their annual household, electricity and gas bills.

The Morrison Government’s legislated super reforms will save Australians $17.9 billion over 10 years through:

  • Preventing unintended multiple accounts when workers change jobs.
  • A YourSuper comparison tool.
  • Holding funds to account for underperformance.
  • Increasing transparency and accountability.

MORE CHOICES

The Restart Wage Subsidy for Australians over 50 provides up to $10,000 to employers to support workers to continue their career.

The Government has increased the Pension Work Bonus from $250 to $300 per fortnight and extended the Bonus to self-employed people.

We have also expanded the Pension Loans Scheme to all Australians of pension age, giving them the option to boost their income by drawing down on equity in their own home.

HELPING HOMEOWNERS WHO WANT TO DOWNSIZE

We are encouraging older Australians (over 60) who want to downsize, by enabling them to make a non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 into their superannuation fund from the proceeds of the sale of their principal home.

MORE AFFORDABLE ELECTRICITY

While electricity prices doubled under Labor, we have now started to turn the corner on power prices.

Household electricity prices have fallen in the National Electricity Market by 8%, and businesses by 10-12% over the past two financial years.

The ACCC says that electricity costs are now the lowest they have been in 8 years.

PROTECTING RETIREES

Labor’s Retiree Tax would have hurt retirees and low income earners, by abolishing tax refunds for share dividends.

This would have hiked taxes on 900,000 individuals, 200,000 self-managed super funds and 2,000 super funds, and led to more people relying on the Age Pension.

Most people that would have been affected were not wealthy. In fact, 84% of people who would have been impacted are on taxable incomes below $37,000.

Only the Liberal and Nationals Government can be trusted to keep tax refunds for franking credits.

Information current as at May 2022

Authorised by Lincoln Folo, Liberal National Party of Queensland, 281 Sandgate Road, Albion QLD 4010

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