Media Releases

Home care, schools and hospitals should be budget priorities

May 07, 2018

In the Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison must release more home care packages for older Australians, restore cuts to schools and hospitals, lift the staffing freeze on the National Disability Insurance Agency, and boost TAFE and apprenticeships to help young people get jobs.
Instead of an $80billion tax cut for big business, the Treasurer must help vulnerable Australians by lifting the Medicare freeze, ruling out raising the pension age to 70 and ruling out axeing the energy supplement for pensioners.
On the Coast, we have about 750 older people waiting for home care packages, some of whom have been waiting more than 12 months. We urgently need more home care packages to provide the support older people need to stay in their homes and relieve the stress on carers and families, especially for those people with high needs. However, any increase in home care packages must not be at the expense of other aged care services. I would also like to see dementia-friendly communities widely embraced and funded.
The Government has cut $33million from Central Coast schools, and this funding must be restored so we do not jeopardise student outcomes. Needs-based funding has already made a difference on the Coast. Schools have employed extra teachers, teacher’s aides and speech therapists to provide Aboriginal programs, coding and robotics, specialist support for students, and leadership and mentoring for teachers.
The Government must also restore cuts to hospitals. The community saved Wyong Hospital from privatisation, now the Government must ensure it is properly funded. More than $3.2million has been cut from Wyong Hospital, and this is unacceptable.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants are frustrated and distressed as they wait six months to have their plans reviewed. The Government must lift its staffing cap on the National Disability Insurance Agency and ensure IT problems are fixed. The NDIS has been life-changing for so many – we must iron out rollout problems.
With a youth unemployment rate of 18.6%, the Central Coast needs the Turnbull Government to introduce measures to help young people get jobs – we need funding restored to TAFE and apprenticeship numbers increased.