Brand MP Madeleine King has backed in Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s Budget reply, with a heavy focus on care reform.
The Opposition claimed an Albanese Labor government would stop neglect in aged care and return “security, dignity, quality and humanity” to the sector.
Mr Albanese used his budget reply speech to promote his plan to reform aged care, which Labor says will cost $2.5 billion.
Stronger Medicare, a reformed aged care and cheaper child care were central to the Budget reply, which may just sway voters in Brand and across Perth who have faced a surge in childcare fees of almost 10 per cent in the past year.
Ms King said Australian families are paying some of the highest child care costs in the world and that Federal Labor has a plan to keep costs down. Mr Albanese said in his budget reply that Labor would scrap the “complicated mess of subsidy cliffs and barriers to working more”.
“Making child care cheaper will mean more Australian children get access to early education, giving them a great start in life,” he said.
Aged care was the Opposition’s main focus, with Labor saying sector reform will cost $2.5 billion.
“More of us are living long enough to need extra care in our later years. But currently that thought fills a generation of Australians and their families with dread,” Ms King said.
Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Senator Anne Ruston said $2.5 billion “won’t touch the sides” of the aged care reform challenge.
“The thing the Labor party have got to do going through this election campaign, they have got to tell us how they are going to pay for the things that they are promising,” Senator Ruston told Sky News.
But Mr Albanese has doubled down since his speech, telling voters a Labor government would introduce criminal penalties for aged care providers who “seriously and repeatedly facilitate or cover up abuse and neglect”.
The Federal election is expected to be announced imminently.