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Aged care funding a priority for Labour

14 September 2005

Aged care funding a priority for Labour

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said a returned Labour government would significantly increase funding for aged care.

Dr Cullen was commenting on the release of Labour’s senior citizens policy.

“The aging of the population demands a long-term funding and care strategy which Labour is determined to deliver on and will accord budget priority to.

“This is in contrast to the National Party which would sacrifice everything to its obsession with tax cuts,” Dr Cullen said.

The Cabinet has approved a future work programme to ensure safe and high quality services and to minimise the barriers for older people to stay independent within and to participate fully in their communities.

“The 2005 Budget brought to $895.9 million the amount available for aged care services and to $539.2 million the funding for aged residential care.

“Funding for residential care has increased almost 30 per cent since 1999 and for aged care in total by 17.2 per cent in the last two years.

“But there is much more to be done as the sector is under serious stress after the previous National government stopped inflation adjustments in the 1990s.

“A similar pattern of deliberate under-funding would occur if National were to occupy the Treasury benches again,” Dr Cullen warned.


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