COTA welcomes the revised timeline for lodging pre-Budget submissions ahead of the forthcoming 2018-19 federal Budget. The new timeline aligns more meaningfully with the government’s timeframes for deciding Budget priority areas and increases the opportunity for stakeholders to influence Budget outcomes.
Our brief submission again takes the approach we have adopted over recent years, which is to highlight a relatively small number of high priority proposals on which, among a broad range of matters, we have already been making regular representations to government through many channels. We do not seek here to repeat in what would be a very detailed submission what we are saying to government across many portfolios, and through both direct representation, through advisory bodies, and in alliances with other organisations.
The proposals we address below play a dual role. They call for government action in important areas of need that will improve the lives of older people here and now in Australia. Additionally, the proposals also address COTA’s concern that the strategic complexity of population ageing is not yet sufficiently acknowledged by governments in broad policy development nor in short-term Budget processes. As we have said many times, governments will miss a crucial strategic opportunity if they continue to posit population ageing as predominantly a challenge to public expenditures (some of which is not supported by the actual evidence) rather than an opportunity to adaptively and productively respond to demographic change, leading with a positive, inclusive, socially cohesive, long-term vision for our economy and society as it ages.