Seniors ignored in Tasmanian budget

Tasmanian seniors have been largely ignored in the state budget, National Seniors says.

Funding of $315 million to create 8000 jobs was announced In the state’s 2015/16 budget handed down last Thursday, 28 May, but it included no mention of how it would be extended to older worker initiatives.

“There’s been a lot of talk about jobs but no mention of mature age employment, no proposal to remove the age limit in the Tasmanian workers’ compensation scheme and no support to fund reskilling and training opportunities for older job seekers,” National Seniors Tasmanian Policy Advisory Group chair Mary Parsissons said.

“There was no specific funding for seniors and our calls for the state government to provide a dedicated Minister for Seniors were also ignored,” she said.

“We also have continuing concerns with a lack of public transport and lack of support in helping seniors find age-appropriate housing.”

Parsissons said one of the few highlights from the budget was the move to protect seniors’ concessions after the federal government cut $9 million worth of funding last year.

National Seniors also welcomed funding to help keep people with chronic illnesses out of hospital and funding of $76 million to reduce elective surgery waiting lists.

A $2 million partnership with Aurora Energy was also announced to implement energy affordability programs targeting vulnerable households over the next two years.

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