Tax Reforms Bad News For Aged Care: Acsa

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22nd January 2010, 10:43am - Views: 689





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Media Release

              



January 22, 2010


Tax reforms bad news for aged care: ACSA

Reports that Dr Ken Henry’s tax review recommends an end to the charitable status of not for profit and

faith based aged care providers is alarming, Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) said today.

ACSA Acting CEO Pat Sparrow said such a significant threat to an already struggling sector was

unacceptable. “ACSA represents aged and community care providers who will be directly affected by

this proposal,” Ms Sparrow said.

“We understand the comprehensive 1,000 page report encompasses the entire tax system and that

difficult decisions will need to be made to support dramatic increases in our ageing population.

“However, we cannot support removing this tax benefit for an industry that is in urgent need of more

funding, and potentially replacing it with a series of grants.”

ACSA President and CEO of one of Australia’s larger charitable aged care providers Eldercare

Incorporated, Klaus Zimmermann, said if the initiative was adopted the entire industry would be placed

in financial turmoil.

“Significant numbers of facilities are operating in deficit,” he said.  “Removing the tax benefit in addition

to increased costs associated with the modern awards, will ensure even more facilities are operating at

a loss.

“Employees would also stand to lose up to $100 a week. For our entire workforce across Australia, that

amounts to $20million in lost wages every week. The industry is currently fighting to attract and retain

staff including nurses and this move would only exacerbate the situation.”

Ms Sparrow and Mr Zimmermann said the Prime Minister’s very public acknowledgement of the

dramatic challenges of an ageing population, is a source of hope that the Government will do nothing to

undermine aged care services now, or in the future.

“We provide a valuable and critical community service which is already marginalized in terms of

funding,” they said.

ACSA applauds the Government’s commitment to tax reform and welcomes other initiatives including

incentives for older people to remain in the workforce, but not at the expense of aged care employees

and older Australians. 

Media contact: Chris Hornsey 0419 513 432






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