GIVING BACK TO SENIOR VICTORIANS

GIVING BACK TO SENIOR VICTORIANS

Posted on 11. Nov, 2010 in Election Media Release, News

Cheaper electricity bills, lower stamp duty and extra personal alert systems are at the heart of Labor’s $361.1 million plan to help senior Victorians meet the cost of living and stay independent in their own homes.

Premier John Brumby today announced a future Labor Government would also invest in more programs to help older Victorians stay fit, active and connected to their local communities.

“More than 1000 Victorians turn 65 every week and our Government will stand by senior Victorians by taking off some of the financial pressure, improving personal safety and supporting quality of life,” Mr Brumby said.

“Senior Victorians have worked their whole lives contributing to the Victorian community. I firmly believe it’s vital that we give back to the people who have contributed so much to our State.”

Mr Brumby said key commitments to improve the quality of life for seniors announced today included:

  • $175.7 million to give eligible seniors cheaper household electricity bills through a new Summer Energy Concession program;
  • $118.7 million for an extra two million hours under the Home and Community Care services program, which will mean more help around the home, home nursing, meals on wheels and physiotherapy;
  • $38.1 million to reduce stamp duty for eligible seniors by raising the concession threshold to $750,000;
  • $12.5 million for a new high-quality residential care facility in Mornington for older seniors who can no longer live at home;
  • $5.0 million for new grants for strength training and other activities and sporting groups;
  • $6.4 million to upgrade local community facilities, including Senior Citizens Centres and Men’s Sheds, targeted to areas with large senior populations; and
  • $4.7 million for 3000 more personal alert systems for seniors who live alone.  

 

Mr Brumby said Labor was determined to ensure seniors shared in the proceeds of his Government’s strong financial management.

“We want to take some of the financial pressure off senior Victorians. We will introduce a new Summer Electricity Concession, to build on our Winter Energy Concession,” Mr Brumby said.

“Almost 770,000 concession card holders will benefit from the 17.5 per cent cut to summer electricity bills, so they can stay cool during summer without worrying about their bills.

“In addition, for seniors downsizing their homes, we will extend our Pensioner Stamp Duty Concession, extending the threshold to $750,000. This means almost 9000 seniors over four years will save thousands of dollars on their new home.”

Minister for Senior Victorians Lisa Neville said a future Brumby Labor Government was also committed to helping seniors stay in their own homes for as long as they could, but recognised this was not always possible for all Victorians aged over 60.

“We know that by 2020 the number of Victorians aged over 60 will rise to almost 23 per cent of the population and so we are planning now for increased demand on our aged care residential services,” Ms Neville said. 

“That’s why we will invest $12.5 million for the development of a new aged care residential facility on the Mornington Peninsula.”

Ms Neville said today’s new plan built on Labor’s announcement last week that a future Brumby Labor Government would commit $52.8 million through A Fairer Victoria to help make life easier for older carers.

“Through A Fairer Victoria, we will build 10 new five-bedroom houses to accommodate 50 people with a disability and living with an older carer, and we will help families plan for the future providing real support so they can plan for the next stage of their lives,” she said.

“Also under A Fairer Victoria, older carers of people with a disability will have access to $5000 to help manage their caring responsibilities such as access to respite, occasional transport and in-home help.

“In addition, to help in the event of unforseen circumstances like a hospital stay or family emergency, six new 24 hour emergency respite centres will be established across the State.”

Ms Neville said Labor had also pledged to a grant of $15 million for Parkville’s Mental Health Research Institute to work with support local company Prana Biotechnology to advance a drug treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

“We celebrate the fact that Victorians are living longer and we remain determined to meet the challenges of our ageing population by providing the support, services and respect they deserve,” Ms Neville said.

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