FROM July 1, the Abbott government will change the Home Care Assistance Package costs for elderly people who choose to stay in their own homes rather than enter a nursing home facility.
My parents, aged 89 and 83, have chosen this option of care. It is an option championed by consecutive Liberal and Labor governments as it significantly reduces the public cost in caring for the elderly.
Under this system, they receive housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping and medical transport services delivered by wonderful people whose service standards are a stratosphere above their hourly rate.
Under their current scheme, individuals are asked to contribute $54 per week, with the government topping up the remainder.
Under Abbott’s reinvention, my parents need to stump up $123 per week each to maintain the same level of care, a 57 per cent increase for the same service. On top of this staggering price rise, transport to medical appointments will now incur a fee of $47 per hour, plus 80¢ per kilometre.
So, in my opinion, Abbott and Hockey’s ‘‘nothing to see here, fair for all, have a go’’ budget has targeted those who can’t defend themselves.
I think old-aged pensioners trying to live out their lives with dignity in familiar surroundings have become public enemy No.1 in this budget cash grab.