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UnitingCare Australia responds to the Federal Budget

UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said everyone had the right to a decent life.

“In a rich country such as Australia with a large surplus a decent life includes secure and affordable housing, freedom from poverty, access to necessary supports and services, freedom from pain and ill health and a good start in life,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

“Whilst we welcome the significant investment in the affordability of child care and recognise one-off payments for various groups of Australians on low incomes, we would prefer systematic change to address longer term issues and complex problems.

“There is very little to address the real needs of disadvantaged Australians – people with disabilities, their carers, Australians with mental illness, or the thousands of families living in housing stress.

“We are also disappointed with a missed opportunity for directional leadership from the Government to address workforce issues in services such as child care, aged care and other community services.

“It is crunch time for many community services with greater demand for service from clients with more complex needs.”

UnitingCare Australia also acknowledges the steps taken in the budget to address sustainable quality aged care for Australians.

“We recognise the measures to address reduced revenue for aged care providers under the Future of Aged Care for Australians package with the Transitional Accommodation Subsidy for low care,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

“We still have deep concerns regarding the future ability of the sector to meet capital expenditure needs,” she said.

“This has serious implications for the viability of the industry as it works to provide quality care for older Australians.”

UnitingCare Australia represents the UnitingCare network of agencies of which there are approximately 400 nationwide.  UnitingCare is one of the largest providers of aged care in Australia