Home Australian News Wealthy Boomers could pay more for meals, cleaning

Wealthy Boomers could pay more for meals, cleaning

Wealthy Boomers could pay more for meals, cleaning

Albanese this week ruled out changes to how the family home is considered in aged care asset tests to bat away an opposition scare campaign but gave no further details about the government’s plans.

“There is no change to the treatment of the family home in any of the documents that have been before the government. None,” Albanese said in question time.

The family home is considered in the asset test that determines whether people pay extra for their “care costs” in residential homes – the fees that cover day-to-day nursing and personal care.

However, the home is only counted to a value of $198,000, meaning a person with a property worth $300,000 is assessed the same as another with a home worth $3 million. Personal care payments are also capped at around $33,000 a year, or $78,500 over a lifetime.

If the government decides not to change care fees, it could tweak other aged care payments such as the basic daily living fee, which covers services such as meals, laundry and cleaning.

The taskforce has recommended that fee – which is set at 85 per cent of the age pension, currently about $61 a day – be re-evaluated and lifted for those who have greater means, which would inject more money into the system from aged care users rather than the taxpayer.


However, the panel has not specified what the new rate should be or how it should be means-tested. Those decisions will be left to the government as it prepares its response to the taskforce’s recommendations in time for the budget.

Aged care providers had advocated for the family home threshold to be lifted, given it has not changed for years, as they pushed for users to pay more instead of other funding options such as a taxpayer levy.

Emma Maiden, general advocacy manager at Uniting NSW.ACT, said there were still ways of raising consumer contributions while leaving the family home threshold intact.

“The three things that need to change are the actual means-testing formula, the yearly and lifetime caps on contributions to care, and the calculation of the basic daily fee for those with means,” she said.

“Uniting eagerly awaits the release of the Aged Care Taskforce report and is hopeful these three important reforms are included and will be embraced by government.”

Wells’ office declined to comment.

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