Page 6 - NSW Senior Scene - 2022
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PAGE 6                                                                                                                  
       Budget delivers relief but not reform

             ational    Seniors      Chief Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO)  when they lose 50 cents in the dol- to help meet these urgent frontline
             Advocate,  Ian  Henschke,  to boost income for the 2021–22  lar plus tax if they do more than  workforce needs, and a Downsizing
      Ntalks through the ins and  tax year, although  this is not  one day’s work.                                      Incentive to help people stay safe
       outs of the Budget and what it  ongoing.                                    If Australia had the same partici- in their own home and out of resi-
       means for you on the eve of the        Older  Australians will undoubt- pation rate as New Zealand, there’d  dential aged care, but neither were
       federal election.                    edly     welcome      the    Federal be as many as 400,000 additional  adopted.
        In a Budget that has widely been  Government’s        six-month    halv- pensioners  in  the  workforce.  It’s   We also hoped for more afford-
       classed as a re-election pitch to  ing of the fuel excise, which will  a missed opportunity to solve  able supported social housing for
       voters,  the Treasurer  has  offered  hopefully blunt skyrocketing fuel  workforce shortages, and boost  the growing number of impover-
       temporary payments and tax  prices. We also think the Federal  incomes and Australia’s GDP at a  ished pensioners as an alternative
       relief to meet rising cost of living  Government could have looked  crucial time.                                to residential aged care.
       pressures.                           at working with state and terri-      Health and aged care                   With COVID-19 still a life and death
        National  Seniors  Australia  has  tory governments to deliver free       There has been some extra money       issue, especially in aged care, it is
       welcomed this relief but is dis- public  transport  for  seniors. This     provided to improve residen-          positive the government has pro-
       appointed with the lack of lon- is an initiative that both the South       tial aged care. However, it is dis-   vided additional funds to manage
       ger-term structural reform to make  Australian and the  Tasmanian  heartening there has been limited  the pandemic. This includes fund-
       the  pension  system  simpler  and  Governments are undertaking.           investment  in home  care and in  ing for pathology testing, respi-
       fairer, and with the lack of addi-     Older seniors, especially those  the  aged  care  workforce  more  ratory clinics, free Rapid  Antigen
       tional funds to further address the  with limited super, will welcome  generally.                                Tests (RAT), personal protective
       crisis in aged care.                 the 12-month extension of the 50%      The single largest additional out- equipment (PPE),  mRNA vaccine
       Cost of living                       reduction in the minimum draw- lay in the budget is for medica- manufacturing, and for the admin-
       Older      Australians      (includ- down to help ease worry in these  tion management. With the Royal  istration of vaccinations in primary
       ing   pensioners,    carers,   and uncertain  times,  when  they  face  Commission          exposing     some care settings, such as aged care.
       Commonwealth Seniors Health  unknown medical and aged care  shocking details about the misuse                     New funding has also been pro-
       Card holders) will benefit from a  costs.                                  of medication in residential care  vided to lower the Safety Net
       one-off payment of $250. Yet, if a     Many older  Australians tell us  settings, the $345.7 million invest- threshold for the Pharmaceutical
       landlord increases rent by as little  they don’t understand why they’re  ment in community pharmacy to  Benefits Scheme, and for sub-
       as $5 a week, this money is gone  forced to withdraw excess savings  address this problem is welcomed. sidised treatments and mental
       – and rent is only one example of  from superannuation  and worry           The critical problem facing gov- health, which older  Australians
       the cost pressures facing many  this will erode their income later  ernment is that while it has signifi- will welcome.
       older Australians.                   in life.                              cantly cut the home care waitlist,     While  some  additional  funding
        National  Seniors  Australia  has     National Seniors  Australia is  it’s in danger of going backwards  for hospitals has been provided,
       long called for an Independent  especially disappointed that sen- if there are not enough workers to  related specifically to COVID-19,
       Pension  Tribunal and a rise to  sible reforms, like our policy to  meet demand.                                 the medical community has been
       Commonwealth  Rent Assistance  Let Pensioners Work, haven’t been            The additional $48.5 million for  critical that more funds were not
       to ensure the pension rate is ade- adopted.                                15,000 low fee and free training  forthcoming  to  ease  pressure  on
       quate  for all,  as  part of  our  Fix   This policy is strongly backed by  places will not be effective unless  the overburdened hospital system.
       Pension Poverty campaign. We are  the business community who are  it is targeted at the right people              National Seniors Australia is also
       disappointed this opportunity for  crying out for workers. It would  and is  accompanied  with a  wage  disappointed that the issue of oral
       pension reform was not taken.        have been a game changer for  increase.                                     health and funding for a Seniors
        Older workers will benefit from  pensioners with limited savings           National Seniors recommended  Dental Scheme hasn’t been a fea-
       the $420 increase to the Low and  who don’t see the point in working  a Mature Age Traineeship Program  ture of the Budget this year.
        All-In-One                                                                  A one-off payment to

         Service For Seniors                                                        help with living costs
                                                                                    has been announced

        There are companies that promise peace of mind with a team guiding you through
        the downsizing of your home and getting you on your retirement living path.
        Having assistance with the process is definitely a worthwhile service, but what   Source:
        is actually involved? We spoke to Inspired Outcomes who provide a Seniors       here’s a $250 one-off pay- •   Disability Support Pension
        Advocacy Service, to explain the process.                                       ment for eligible customers  •   Double Orphan Pension
         The Objective           Downsizing and          Legalities and  Tto help with the cost of living. •   Farm Household Allowance
         According to Inspired   Preparing for Your      Paperwork                 The Cost of Living Payment is a  •   JobSeeker Payment
         Outcomes, when it comes   New Home                                       one-off payment. It’s not taxable  •   Parenting Payment
         to entering your retirement                     As with any new purchase
         years, you are sure to have a   The consultant will also help in   or contract, there is plenty of   and you don’t need to report it  •   Special Benefit
         lot of questions. While an array   the listing and selling of your   paperwork to be completed.   as income for income support  •  Youth  Allowance for students
         of businesses can help you,   home. This includes getting   The consultant will arrange
         an all-in-one service should   it market ready, arranging   contents insurance for the   purposes.               and Australian Apprentices
         take it one step further, and   valuations, and organising   new home, accompany you to   To get it, you must be a Centrelink  •  Youth Allowance for job seekers
         guide you through the entire   a tradesperson if work is   Centrelink if you are eligible
         process.                required.               for rental assistance, get your   or Department of Veterans’ Affairs  •   eligible   Veterans’   Affairs
                                                         electricity, gas, phone etc.,
                                 Moving furniture and    relocated, and mail redirected.  (DVA) customer. You must be liv-  payments.
         Consultation            decorating can be a lot of   The basic objective of an all-  ing in Australia on 29 March 2022   The eligible concession cards are
                                 work. Consultants carry the                      or temporarily overseas for an  all of these:
         As each is very personal   load for you, even going so   in-one service, according to
         to your lifestyle and   far as to take photos of your   Inspired Outcomes is to give   approved reason and either:  •   Commonwealth Seniors Health
         requirements, a         home so they can arrange   seniors and their family peace
         comprehensive service begins   it in your new place just the   of mind and a hassle-free   •   getting an eligible payment  Card
         with a consultation to ascertain   way you like it. If a new-look is   downsizing experience.  •   have an eligible concession card. •   Pension Concession  Card if
         the type of home desired, a   what you are after, consultants
         visit to a number of resorts   will also take you shopping!               You only get one payment even if       you’re  not  getting  an  income
         and villages, and submission                                             you have both an eligible payment       support payment
         of expression of interest.                                               and concession card.                  •   DVA Gold Cards.
                                DOWNSIZING                                        these:                                ing support for veterans and fami-
                                                                                   The eligible payments are all of
                                                                                                                         Read more about the cost of liv-

                                or Retirement Living                              •   ABSTUDY Living Allowance          lies on the DVA website.
                                                                                                                         You don’t need to apply. The Cost
                                                                                  •   Age Pension
                                                                                  •   Austudy                           of Living Payment is paid automat-
                                                     Call Margaret for a no obligation consultation  •   Carer Payment  ically. Payments will start from 28
                                                     ✆ 0448 201 884               •   Carer  Allowance, but only if  April 2022.

                                                                                                                         You will be sent a letter confirm-
                                   Available in Sydney, Canberra & all of Queensland  ssmsyd18038  you’re  not  getting  another  ing your payment has been made.
                                                                                    income support payment
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