Another week and another list of issues addressed by National Seniors in the media.
We renewed our call for Newstart to be raised, and helped older Australians cut through the complex Commonwealth Home Care Scheme.
We featured in dozens of radio interviews around the clock, after the issue was given renewed momentum by Coalition MPs who continue to call for Newstart to be increased.
There is a definite link between the rate of Newstart and pension poverty, something we were keen to illustrate in this week’s Connect E-News article and during our media appearances.
As well as having the largest age group on Newstart, Australians 55 and over also spend the longest time on average receiving the allowance.
They spend a staggering four years on average receiving Newstart.
Contributing factors include trying to reskill to stay in the work force and ageism by employers who overlook them for positions.
Our Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke told Channel Seven’s Political Editor, Mark Riley, “Older Australians are chewing up their savings, they’re chewing up their super and their lives are being punished on this.” And Ian had this to say to a government resisting a review of the allowance, “Don’t keep balancing your budget on the backs of people who’ve got broken lives.”
We also appeared on Seven’s Today Tonight program in both Perth and Adelaide.
The story focused on home care funding issues and the discrepancy in pricing levels.
Due to changes that came into place on 1 July, providers must display their pricing on the government’s My Aged Care website.
Before providers were obliged to publish their pricing, the variation between the least expensive provider and the most expensive provider was a large $6,431, according to the program.
But since 1 July, the difference was reported as being half that amount.
“The fact that those prices came down so quickly… shows you there was something going on,” Ian said.
If you or are loved one are applying for a home care package and want to compare costs of providers in your area, visit the My Aged Care website.
Be warned, there are long waiting lists, which is why National Seniors Australia is campaigning so hard for better funding for more packages.