Budget leaves aged care workers in the lurch

Anglicare Australia has said that tonight’s Budget fails to deliver on unfinished business from the Royal Commission.

“Everyone deserves quality care as they get older. All of us should be able to get quality care, with dignity, when we need it. The only way to deliver that care is with a strong workforce,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Yet Australia’s aged care workforce is under pressure. Low pay is forcing workers to make tough decisions. Many workers are leaving aged care altogether.

“This is major unfinished business from last year’s landmark Royal Commission. Tonight’s Budget leaves that challenge unsolved. Without action, the workforce crisis will only get worse. Older people will pay the price.

“Just last week, research found that wages for aged care workers haven’t kept up with living costs. People working in our sector are struggling to afford childcare, groceries, and rent. Many are being priced out of their own communities.

“Instead of a one-off retention payment, we need real reform.

“Anglicare Australia will continue to push for a Workforce Fund for wages, training, and nursing costs. We are also calling on the Government to fund a minimum wage increase for aged care workers.

“We will keep working with the Government beyond this Budget. It is not too late to make sure we have a strong workforce, and quality care – and that Australians get the care they deserve,” Ms Chambers said.