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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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Government to spend $11.3 billion over four years to fund 15% pay rise for aged care workers


Tuesday’s budget includes $11.3 billion over four years to fund the 15% pay increase elder care workers will receive starting July 1.

The increase was awarded by the Fair Work Commission. Labor pledged in last year’s election to fully fund a wage increase for this sector.

Given the acute labor shortage, it is hoped that the higher wages will attract more workers.

The wage increase will benefit more than 250,000 people.

A registered nurse with a level 2.3 salary receives an additional $196.08 per week — more than $10,000 per year.

A Level 4 Personal Caregiver (Age Care Award) or a Level 3.1 Home Care Worker (Social, Community, Home Care, and Disability Care Award) gets an additional $141.10 weekly — more than $7,300 annually.

Recreational workers and chefs in the sector are also queuing for increases.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said “for too long those who work in aged care have been asked to work harder for longer without adequate pay, but this budget changes that”.

Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said “fair wages play an important role in attracting and retaining workers”.

Elderly care is now the fifth largest area of ​​federal government spending. This fiscal year, elder care costs will increase from $24.8 billion to an estimated $29.6 billion (23%).

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There are approximately 1.5 million aged care recipients in Australia, with increasing pressure on the future system as the population ages.

In a round of media appearances on Wednesday, Chalmers reiterated that next week’s budget would include “substantial living costs.”

“It will give priority to the most vulnerable. It will not only be limited by age, and it will be responsible.

Chalmers said the budget would predict the economy to slow significantly but not go into recession.

“The budget is going to be a tough balancing act, between providing the cost of living relief that people need, being aware of the pressure on the budget and all that debt we have inherited, but also making sure we are on our way can grow out of this slowing economy by investing in things like energy and laying some of these foundations for growth in our economy.”

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Chalmers said the budget would also include efforts “to get people into work when they want to work, including in communities where there have been entrenched disadvantages for too long.”

“We have colleagues working on the agency system to ensure that if people want to work, they can seize the opportunities of an economy with unemployment currently at three and a half percent.”

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