Policy Alert No 18 Federal Budget 2021

Aged Care Reform was the centrepiece of this year’s Federal Budget, both in policy and financial terms. Responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety the Morrison Government announced a comprehensive package of reforms with a total additional expenditure over four years of almost $18 billion. This was the largest increase in any portfolio of government in this Budget.

Apart from aged care there are not huge gains in this Budget. There are a number of welcome measures in retirement income policy, and some small steps on increasing workforce participation. However, there is no substantive new support for mature age employment and support for vulnerable groups like pensioners and Jobseeker recipients who rent is still missing. Long-term solutions are still needed to ensure vulnerable older Australians are adequately supported. We examine the aged care reform package in detail later but will start with some of the measures in other areas.