Coalition government pulls the plug on the $1.2b Aged Care Workforce Supplement. The scheme was set up by the former Labor government to deliver pay rises to aged care workers. However, providers needed to have entered into an enterprise bargaining agreement with the unions to qualify for funding. Prior to the election, the Coalition made a commitment to distribute the money back into the general aged care pool and consult with the sector about the best way to implement this.
In a joint statement, the Minister for Social Services and the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield, said Labor’s system was “flawed and inequitable with the clear objective of coercing union membership in the sector.”
The Opposition had earlier moved a disallowance motion in the Senate to prevent the government from meeting its election commitment to suspend applications for the supplement but the Coalition used its numbers in the lower house to remove the regulations.
“Disallowing the instruments that created the Workforce Supplement will mean there is no longer a legislative basis on which to pay the supplement,” the Ministers said.
Transitional arrangements will be put in place for providers already receiving the supplement.
The Minister ‘s also stated that Opposition scare-mongering claims that veterans and dementia supplements would be dumped were untrue.