The family home should be included in any means test to determine how much an individual contributes to the cost of their residential aged care, federal Treasury says. Source: The Australian.
In a submission to the aged care royal commission, Treasury also calls for older Australians to contribute more of their own funds to their aged care, whether in-home or in a nursing home.
The commission asked Treasury for its views on how the nation’s fast-growing aged-care bill should be paid, including whether the full value of a home should be included in the current means test (presently it is limited to $170,000) to determine government-funded costs in nursing homes.
“Including a higher value of the family home in the means test (potentially the full value) would provide more equitable treatment of different types of wealth between home owners and non-home owners, and ensure that recipients of aged care contribute to the cost of their care based on their means,” the August 31 submission said.
“It would also be a more efficient and less distortionary means of funding consumer contributions to aged care than raising this funding through general taxation.”
Including the family home in means-testing for aged care has long been favoured by policy analysts, but remains a heated political issue. Many older Australians have an emotional connection to their home and don’t see it as simply an asset similar to shares and superannuation.
The Treasury submission also called for greater levels of individual contribution to aged care.
Elderly should pay up for aged care, says Treasury (By Stephen Lunn, The Australian)