The Coalition's latest cuts to aged care programs are large, ad-hoc cuts, like the earlier Abbott budget cuts to social services. Aged care is a critical sector that will become even more important as Australians age. The Coalition should not be making ad-hoc cuts that will hurt aged care and aged care workers without having a clear plan to provide the support the sector needs.
"The aged care workforce will need to triple over the next 35 years to 2050. This sector will only become more important as Australia's population gets older. We need to be ready for the challenges of the future.
"The Government has cut millions of dollars from aged care workforce programmes without a clear plan to replace them, or how the Coalition will provide the support the workforce needs to make this major transition in the coming decades.
"It is very timely that the Senate has just supported the establishment of a Senate inquiry into the aged care workforce. The terms of reference require us to look at the impacts of sector growth, changes in how care is delivered and increasing competition for workers. We will now need to look closely at the Government's proposals.
"I am also very concerned about the cuts the Government is imposing through the Aged Care Funding Instrument. The sector has been asking for a cost of care study to be undertaken for a long time, it is reckless to make these changes without such a study.