Coalition called “dishonest” over $8 million aged care TV campaign
The federal government spent $8 million on an advertising campaign promoting home-care packages it knew many elder Australians would not be able to access for years.
The comprehensive online, print, radio and TV advertising campaign told seniors they should start planning for the future and living independently. It advised them the federal government had provided “20,000 extra high-level home-care packages to help you stay at home … for longer”, reported The Australian.
At the time of the campaign the waiting list for home care packages was 108,000 and rising fast. The latest figures show the national priority queue has grown to more than 121,000 people.
Labor aged-care spokesperson Julie Collins told The Australian the government should have been honest with voters instead of “trying to deceive them with taxpayer-funded advertising’’.
“The Liberals have misled vulnerable older Australians and given them false hope about accessing care at home as the waitlist grew significantly,” she said.
“What’s worse – they have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on this expensive exercise.”
Council on the Ageing (COTA) chief executive, Ian Yates, told Sky News that the government’s policy was inadequate and called for it to fund another 30,000 packages immediately.
“The government put 20,000 extra home-care packages into the system last year and in this year’s budget, but we are still well short,” he said.
According to COTA $1.5bn would be needed to close the gap in support for older Australians who needed serious help to remain at home.
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