Age-old question of when to leave home


“I get very cranky with [Labor leader Bill] Shorten when he describes it as a handout,” Mr Rowley said of the credits.

“It absolutely is not a handout.

“I see it as a legitimate tax refund, for tax that has been paid and the government has deemed I am not liable for.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s first budget targeted older Australians with a one-off “energy assistance payment” of $75 for singles and $125 for couples.

Neither Mr Rowley nor his wife will benefit, as they are not pensioners.

However, the budget did fund an extra 10,000 home-care packages for people who wished to stay at home rather than move to a nursing home.

In coming years, the government said it would also expand home-support programs such as meals on wheels.

Mr Rowley said he and his wife both had parents in aged-care residences, and were preparing themselves for such a move within the next 15 years.

He said it made economic sense for governments to help people stay in their home for as long as they could, yet the wait for home-care services could take years.

“My father built his house with his hands in the early 1950s. I hated the fact that he had to leave it and couldn’t stay in it longer.

“I don’t want to leave my home until I’m ready, either.”

Other than these policies, Mr Rowley said he hoped either party would consider extending Medicare to cover dental expenses.

“It’s a good idea. I just can’t see why that particular form of healthcare wasn’t included from the start.”

The budget also provided extra financial-support packages for carers so they can access more training and coaching.

Markus Mannheim edits The Public Sector Informant and writes regularly about government.

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