Posted on 22. Feb, 2013 in News
The Baillieu Government has ignored dozens of crucial recommendations from a report on the needs of senior Victorians, Shadow Ageing Minister Jenny Mikakos said today.
The Baillieu Government’s response to the final report of the Family and Community Development Committee’s Inquiry into Opportunities for Participation of Victorian Seniors was tabled in Parliament yesterday.
“While the Committee’s report contains a number of very worthwhile recommendations, the Government’s response to it is very light on,” Ms Mikakos said.
“The Committee made 40 recommendations seeking to enhance the social, economic and community participation of older people, yet the Government explicitly committed to only a handful of them while committing no new funds to their implementation.
“The Baillieu Government has a responsibility to seniors to develop programs and policies to promote and facilitate participation in our community.
“Instead this Government has earned a poor reputation amongst older Victorians, having abolished the dedicated position of Minister for Senior Victorians and dismantled the Office of Senior Victorians when it first came into office.”
Ms Mikakos said the Baillieu Government have also:
• Closed up to 179 public sector aged care beds;
• Foreshadowed further cuts of $75 million to public sector residential aged care;
• Cut funding to Home and Community Care (HACC) services across the state by 2 percent, despite spiralling demand due to an ageing population;
• Doubled the waiting list for personal alerts in just 12 months; and
• Failed to address cost of living issues affecting senior Victorians.
Ms Mikakos said the needs of senior Victorians have dropped off the Baillieu Government’s agenda and their response to the Committee’s report reinforces that.
“The Minister appears to be oblivious to the fact that his cuts in aged care do not match his rhetoric on helping seniors,” Ms Mikakos said.
“The real test will be whether the Baillieu Government fails again to provide more assistance to senior Victorians in the state budget in May.”