The Albanese Government is softening up voters for increased aged care fees for those who can afford it by citing polling that claims people are eager to pay up to 40 per cent of the cost. Source: Financial Review.
While yet to decide the new user-pays policy settings to be unveiled at or before the May Budget, the Government released what it said were the poll’s key findings in its communiqué from the most recent meeting of its handpicked Aged Care Taskforce.
Despite other topics discussed at the November 22 meeting, the communiqué, posted on the departmental website on Friday, focused solely on the polling presented to the meeting.
It purportedly claimed that people “mistakenly believe they need to pay for 49 per cent of their aged care costs” when, in reality, they paid 5 per cent of home care costs and 25 per cent of costs in residential aged care, while the government pays the rest.
“When people know the full cost of aged care services, they are willing to pay between 30 and 40 per cent of the cost of the service,” it says.
“People are willing to pay higher co-contributions for services where the costs of services is transparent, and they understand what they receive for their co-contribution.”
The polling also found 75 per cent prefer a user pays model where they provide a co-contribution for services received, the communiqué claimed.
With aged care one of the top five cost pressures on the federal Budget, the Government is preparing changes in which those with the means will pay more for their care. The value of the family home and superannuation are all part of the discussion.
A Government spokesman said the research showed there was a lack of understanding about how contributions work and there was an appetite for user pays.
The Opposition has offered bipartisan support for change so long as the solution is neither a new tax nor anything resembling a death tax.
Appetite for user pays in aged care, says government (By Phillip Coorey, Financial Review)