Policy Alert No. 12 - Response to Federal Budget 2014

The 2014-15 Budget contains a wide range of expenditure cuts and changes across many Government programs with the stated aim of reducing the defi cit, but clearly also significantly reshaping the role of the Federal Government.

In COTA's view some of the more vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the community are being asked to take a disproportionate share of the burden of adjustment, including the young and the old. The "temporary budget repair levy" is aimed at very high income earners but it is only for three years whilst the cuts to pensions, health, welfare and other spending are mostly permanent and designed to increase in impact over the coming years.

Older Australians have fared poorly in the 2014 Budget with a big hit to the age pension, the introduction of co-payments for health care, some cuts to aged care, and the abolition of measures to improve housing aff ordability. Most older people will also be very concerned about measures that impact on younger people, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups within our society.

This Policy Alert focuses on measures most likely to impact specifically on older people as this is COTA's direct concern. It does not cover all the measures that will have an impact on older people, particularly in the health arena and COTA will have more to say on all of these in the future. These are also covered by a range of other organisations including the Consumer Health Forum, of which COTA is a member.

Click here to read COTA Australia's full response to Federal Budget 2014

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