Far from being a multi-billion-dollar money pit for the Commonwealth Government, delivering better aged care could be the next big economic opportunity for the nation, Labor’s Clare O’Neil argues. Source: The Australian.
And given population ageing will increase demand for jobs in care services, the opposition spokeswoman for senior Australians and aged care services says the Government should “kick with the wind” and back in higher pay.
This investment would help address underemployment, support greater workforce participation for women, and quickly flow back through the economy, Ms O’Neil adds.
In a speech entitled The Economic Case for Aged Care Reform, to be delivered to the McKell Institute today, Ms O’Neil doesn’t offer dollar projections on the potential cost to the taxpayer of delivering higher-quality aged care, but argues that policymakers should consider care services as vital infrastructure no less important to Australians than transport or power stations.
Aged-care reform is set to be a key plank of the May 11 federal budget. After the aged care royal commission’s final report in February outlined 148 recommendations to improve the quality of care, Scott Morrison said his Government would offer its comprehensive response in the budget.
Ms O’Neil argues the federal Government is uniquely placed to help the economy as the primary funder of aged care. She says more Government funding can support some of the nation’s big economic challenges, including due remuneration for hundreds of thousands of important care jobs, reducing underemployment, bolstering low wages growth and improving the participation rates of women in the workforce.
Aged care ‘an economic opportunity, not a money pit’, says Labor (By Stephen Lunn, The Australian)