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Strong budget outlook sees $550m package for older Australians

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has handed down a budget update showing the nation is heading towards a bigger than expected surplus.

The government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) claims the budget bottom line has strengthened, with a $4.1-billion surplus forecast for the next financial year.

The figures are on the back of strong job numbers, resulting in more company tax, personal tax and less in welfare payments.

The announcement also showed a significant increase in spending on older Australians, particularly those in need of care.

More than $550 million will be spent on 10,000 additional in-home aged care places.

Health Minister Greg Hunt tells John Stanley the government is doing everything possible to let older Australians stay in their own home.

“Because we have a stronger budget, we’re able to invest in these absolutely essential services.

“That means more packages and fewer out-of-pocket costs which I think is a really important cost-of-living measure for older Australians as well as a health and care measure.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke tells Michael McLaren the government’s move is positive but the sector needs much more funding to address an immense wait list.

He says there are over 120,000 people waiting for home care and the additional 10,000 places announced today is “only really keeping up with demand”.

“It’s not making a big enough dent in the waitlist.

“So we hope in the federal budget they actually address this.”

Click PLAY below to hear from Ian Henschke