A Federal Budget for older Australians

Older Australians have invested heavily in Australia. Through life-times of employment, raising families, consuming, investing, volunteering, building, defending and passing on knowledge and wisdom they continue to make an important contribution to this country, expanding the nation’s prosperity and wellbeing.

Seniors don’t want a handout. They want to make a continuing contribution.

In this budget, we are asking the Federal Government to make an investment in older Australians. Supporting older Australians to meet their basic needs and to be more self-sufficient in meeting their basic needs will undoubtedly benefit all Australians.

Whether its keeping people safe in their homes and out of residential aged care; reducing out-of-pocket health costs; helping with the high cost of renting; encouraging retirees to save more; or providing opportunities for older Australians to invest in the future, there are many things that can be done to help seniors help the nation.

We’re here to help older Australians

National Seniors represents the interests of older Australians through advocacy, research, information and services.

We urge the government to adopt these recommendations, not just for the betterment of older Australians but for the benefit of the nation.

Priority areas

Priority 1: Fix Pension Poverty

It’s time to take the politics out of the pension.

All Australians deserve access to a safety net to avert poverty in older age. This safety net should be set independently and free from political interference. It should be based on need and provide adequate income for the basics in retirement. It should also include adequate support for those relying on the rental market and provide better access to dental care.

Priority 2: Overhaul aged care

Urgent action is needed to fix the failed aged care system.

The Aged Care Royal Commission has laid bare the failings of the Australian aged care system. It is scandalous that older people are not properly looked after in their twilight years. All Australians are right to be concerned they will not receive adequate care when they are older.

Priority 3: A fairer retirement income system

A retirement income system with adequacy, sustainability, certainty and fairness.

Governments want people to be self-funded in retirement but make changes to the rules which undermine confidence in the system and penalise those who save. We must ensure that the rules that govern the retirement system are fair for all.

Priority 4: Reduce out-of-pocket health costs

Health costs are the largest concern of older Australians.

National Seniors is calling on the Australian Government to address rising health costs.

Health costs are rising faster than inflation. Confidence in the private health system and private health insurance is declining. The rising cost of specialists, health insurance premiums and lack of transparency; combined with inadequate subsidies from Medicare all impact on rising costs.

Priority 5: A legacy for older Australians

Older Australians want to make a continuing contribution. They care about the future. Many want to leave the world a better place. They already regularly give their time and money to do this. They are especially prepared to make a personal contribution when government shows leadership. We have seen this in the past with programs such as Landcare.

Our recommendations

  1. An Independent Pension Tribunal
  2. Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance
  3. An Adult Dental Benefits Scheme
  4. Fund home care to meet demand
  5. Improve staff-to-resident ratios
  6. A mature aged worker program
  7. Lower the Age Pension taper rate
  8. Reduce the Age Pension deeming rate
  9. Align politicians’ super with the Superannuation Guarantee
  10. Mandatory publication of specialist fees
  11. Restrict private health insurance increases
  12. Increase rebates for specialist consultations
  13. Provide older Australians opportunities to invest in the future
  14. Real homes, not aged care homes

Federal Budget 2020 - 2021

National Seniors Australia Budget submission

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