COTA Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide this supplementary Pre-Budget submission, including COVID-19 related measures that we urge the Australian Government to implement as part of the 2020/21 Federal Budget. The COTA Australia Supplementary Pre-Budget Submission 2020/21 describes these measures.
This submission should be considered alongside and in addition to our previous submission. Whilst we reiterate our support for all measures listed in our previous submission, the 6 key areas (including new proposals) must be prioritised at this time.
In the COVID-19 response Budget in October, we urge the Federal Government to prioritise the following areas:
- Pensions and Income Support
- Future Retirement Income Policy
- Aged Care Reform
- Employment of older Australians
- A whole-of-Government approach to an Ageing Australia
Older Australians have borne the bulk of the health burden of COVID-19. On the economic front older workers made redundant through COVID-19 are the least likely to return to work. Urgent investment is needed to ensure this cohort are provided with support, and where necessary the skills, they need to thrive in a rapidly changing workforce.
No doubt, meeting increasing costs of living proves a challenge for many older people – particularly for those who have significant out-of-pocket healthcare, energy or communications costs, or are struggling to meet the punishing costs of private rental.
Proactively preparing Australia for its increasingly older population requires a comprehensive plan. Given the breadth of the portfolio areas that touch on older people’s lives and are affected by population ageing, COTA Australia’s key ask this Budget is for a Whole-of-Government Strategy for Older Australians. This is a call we have made many times before, and we reiterate.
For ease, we have combined the proposed measures from both the Supplementary Pre-Budget Submission and the earlier Pre-Budget submission in Appendix A.