Carbon tax impact on aged care costs

Aged care facilities can now take an extra 1 per cent of a resident’s pension.

aged care, carbon tax, rise, taxation, government

Aged care facilities have been given the go ahead by the Government to take their share of carbon tax compensation paid to residents. From 1 July, aged care facilities have been able to take an extra one per cent of a resident’s pension to cover costs related to carbon tax increases. This means aged care facilities are able to claim 85 per cent of a resident’s pension payment.

The Department of Health and Ageing wrote to pensioners last month explaining that the one-off Clean Energy Advance was to cover rising costs and that this money should be set aside.

A spokesperson for Aged Care Minister Mark Butler defended the price increase by saying that costs were offset by the pension increase (initially in the form of the Clean Energy Advance until pension rates are increased in March 2013 with the Clean Energy Supplement).

Opposition aged care spokeswoman Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the costs would exceed the rises in pension payments.

"The longer the carbon tax is in place, the worse the impacts will be on aged care providers, and ultimately this is going to hurt some of the most vulnerable people in Australia," Ms Fierravanti-Wells said.

This is however in contrast to independent research by the CSIRO, economic consultancy AECOM and consumer advocate Choice for environment think-tank The Climate Institute, which shows compensation for the carbon tax will outweigh cost increases.

Opinion - Are we missing the point?

Aged care residents are up in arms that the cost of their care is rising as a result of increased costs due to carbon tax. Aged care facilities have been granted the right to take an extra one per cent of a resident’s pension to cover costs. I fail to see what is the problem.

The facts:

From 1 July 2012 Australia’s top 500 carbon producing companies will be taxed based on the carbon they produce.

Costs, especially power bills and food, will increase.

Those on low incomes and pensions have been given and will continue to receive compensation to cover such increases.

The Clean Energy Advance was paid to pension recipients in May/June this year to cover rising living costs from 1 July 2012 until March 2013, when the Clean Energy Supplement will see pension rates rise.

So there you have it: the sky has not fallen in, Armageddon is not approaching and we will carry on as we always have, finding something to whinge about and letting everyone else know how we feel.

Of course aged care residents will have to pay more for their care. If the costs of facilities are increasing, then these costs have to be covered. This is the point of the Clean Energy Advance; it’s not just an end of year bonus paid to pensioners. If an aged care resident was to live at home, they would have to spend the extra money on extra living costs, so the outcome is the same.

What we are missing is the fact that those on a pension do not have enough to live on, full stop, carbon tax or no carbon tax. The Government will continue to bleat on that pensioners have had their payments raised by $6.50 per week. And while on paper this is true, the reality is that this money is to cover rising costs from the carbon tax, not to cover the already massive shortfall in Age Pension amounts that pensioners have had to live with for years, if not decades.

It’s time to stop blaming the carbon tax for pensioners not being able to afford to live. I make no bones about it; I believe the carbon tax is a good thing. Pensioners and those on low incomes have been given compensation to cover rising costs, whether it is sufficient remains to be seen, so we should wait and see.

However, it’s is time for the Government, our MPs and all the hangers on who advise them, to seriously look at how pensioners are expected to live on $19,643 when, as Drew reported last week, even a lowly back-bencher has over the past three months received pay rises totaling $49,640 per annum.

This is what is unfair and unjust.

Read more at DailyTelegraph.com.au

Are we simply too accepting about how little pensioners have to live on? Is there anything anyone can do to correct the situation?





    COMMENTS

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    Rinklyrimes
    10th Jul 2012
    12:33pm
    What a well-balanced article. Sometimes I think we're all rather selfish and just looking for handouts. We're the most fortunate generation of old people ever!
    hhnash47
    10th Jul 2012
    12:47pm
    I THINK THAT THE LABOUR PARTY IS ONLY CONCERNERNED IN THEM SELFS AND ILEAGAL BOAT PEOPOLE , WHEN WILL THIS GOVT RELIZE THAT WE THE OLD ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT TODAY NOT TOMOROW OR MARCH 2013 , ALOT OF US WONT BE AROUND THEN ,SO WAKE UP LABOUR LOOK AFTER YOUR OWN FIRST BEFORE YOU START GIVEING O=AWAY OUR HARD EARNED TAXES , YES YOU GILLARD AND SWAN ???????? PS ANY MORE GIFTS FOR THE INDONISIANS , OR MABE YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE A FEW MILLION TO SOME OTHER IMPOVSED POOR COUNTRY , HARRY IN BONDI ,
    genimi
    10th Jul 2012
    12:56pm
    are you aware that typing in caps is yelling? and considered inappropriate on a thread?
    BettyBoo
    10th Jul 2012
    1:02pm
    I take it that you either don't have children or grandchildren, or don't care what sort of a world they will inherit. What a very selfish outlook on life you have and I thought it was supposed to be the Y generation who were the me, me, me generation.
    Smee
    10th Jul 2012
    2:23pm
    HHNASH; Don't worry about too many sour grapes replies/comments. Sometime one has to yell to be heard. Irrespective of your contribution or the carbon tax, this so called inheritance for the young will be dictated by the greedy and the policy makers, (not all who reside in Oz either) and not how you and I express our disgust at being made to feel like dinosaurs after many years of hard work and paying taxes so the bludgers and foreigners can benefit. KEEP TYPING IN UPPER CASE IF YOU SO DESIRE. YOU DESERVE TO. A comment by any other name (thread) is still just a relevant. The twin and the ghost aren't worth it.
    LENYJAC
    10th Jul 2012
    3:31pm
    MAYBE TYPING IN CAPS AS YOU ABBREVIATORS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE CALL IT IS WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS IT BIT YOU SO LETS ALL VOICE OUR OPINION IN [[[[caps}}}} YEA????????
    Abby
    12th Jul 2012
    6:53am
    In English language capital letters are used at the beginning of a sentence. There is no problems in writing the whole sentence in capital letters.
    davewatto
    10th Jul 2012
    12:49pm
    Oh dear! From your comments over the past couple of weeks it is pretty obvious where your political allegiances lie. Perhaps you could explain the reasons for introducing a tax which will have absolutely NO effect on climate change, as Australia produces less than 2% of the worlds greenhouse gases. It will merely create a whole new level of bureaucracy costing millions to administer and place Australian industry at a competitive disadvantage. Still I guess it will make the Greens feel all warm and righteous.
    sandyfaye
    16th Jul 2012
    9:33am
    Yes. davewatto, this is the nitty gritty of the whole subject. The carbon tax will have NO effect on climate change. It would be better to have new laws put in place that companies have to adhere to to restrict emissions that are SO STRICT that, to disobey them, will achieve an enormous fine that would cripple the company. Would that work?
    genimi
    10th Jul 2012
    12:55pm
    I agree, a well balanced article. but I dont think that everyone is just looking for handouts - the fact is that as the article states the pension is insufficient to live on for anyone who has housing costs to consider and those who are already feeling the pinch are quite understandably frightened about the future - any rising costs for whatever reason will provoke further insecurity. And while I agree that our pollies are incredibly insensitive about their pay rises - the timing is ridiculously insensitive, the facts are that if pensioners , and others on payments and there are a lot on payments who are not retired, were to get a significant increase in their payments it would have to mean tax increases for everyone else. The government does not have unlimited funds at their disposal - they take their income from the tax paying public, so increases in expenditure have to mean increases in income. If taxes were to increase we could well see many more people living on the poverty line as their 'take home' pay gets eaten away.
    grannysally
    10th Jul 2012
    1:09pm
    You believe the carbon tax is a good thing? Do you think that it will save the Great Barrier Reef, stop the earth warming, and make the world a better place for our grandchildren? Even if climate change is happening due to human actions rather than as it has done naturally since the earth began, even if CO2 emissions are doing more damage than other 'pollutants', the carbon tax that will bring a stumbling economy to its knees when the mining boom inevitably ends and our products cannot compete on the international market will perhaps reduce Australia's CO2 emissions by 5%. This is less than .00005% of manmade CO2. Our grand gesture will be insignifiant. Be assured there will be no money then for compensation payments or environmental management.
    Watto
    10th Jul 2012
    1:44pm
    Let's just think about this for a moment . Does everyone remember Y2K . It didn't happen but a lot of people made a lot of money. What about Quality Assurance and the need for ALL companies , large and small , to be trained and acredited by a select group of people who got paid large sums to do the Acreditation .Oh, there is also the Nigerian scammers ! And so the list goes on . Climate change and Global warming is another scam with people ,like Al Gore making huge amounts of money . Where are they right now ? Where's Tim Flannery, what training does he have to call himself a "climate expert" ?
    There is no" man induced" global warming . Who were the people stuffing up the planet when the last Ice Age happened . Think about it . And don't trot out all the "experts" who claim to have proof . For everyone of those I can call in an "expert" who will say the opposite.
    Think about your own life , and we all seem to be of mature age . How many droughts have you seen, how many floods and bushfires have you experienced ??
    I think the age of the internet and the speed of news reporting has a lot to do with this alarmist attitude of a lot of people. Also, there are too many overeducated people attempting to make a name for themselves ,and, there are too many journos willing to publish any story that will get their name in the print or electronic media. Add to this the group of fools in Canberra being led by the nose by the loopy left calling themselves the Greens .
    Lets all have a Bex and a good lie down . Relax, you didn't stuff up this planet, noone has .
    Joybells
    10th Jul 2012
    6:28pm
    Extremely well put. We get tired of being blamed for nature taking it's course.None of us writing on these blogs will be here in 50 years to see that all this hype was gobbily gook. Yet we have to sacrifice our money today for the good of the earth's future.Interesting to watch what happens as the year rolls along.
    grannysally
    10th Jul 2012
    1:52pm
    Well said, Watto
    frank45
    10th Jul 2012
    1:55pm
    I think its unfair For us not to have single pension of $1200 for 2weeks and a $1600 for 2
    pensioners and get Mrs rudd paying tax for her 10 companies she has getting persons off
    the invalid pension we should get 97% of the basic wage or we will not vote for them
    and have some one in power thats honest and faire, you have your say..
    genimi
    10th Jul 2012
    9:20pm
    and who exactly will pay the increased tax bill to fund these figures? I have super that I have paid all my life and get very little more than what you propose for single pension - do I have to pay more tax to fund it?
    petersm
    10th Jul 2012
    2:14pm
    Well done, very balance article, and unlike Dave I didn't pick up on a political agenda, in this or other articles written re this tax. The real need that requires addressing is the level of income pensioners are expected to live on.
    Also, public housing rental, hostel and nursing home fees rise, Home and Community Care costs, all rise, at times by more than 1%, every time there is a increase in the pension. Can we all step off our individual soap boxes and join together in righting this, and many other issues seniors have to deal with? Ideally yes, realistically, probably not. So at the end of the day, will nothing change, for the better, and will we all be losers? Most likely.
    Maz
    kenlow
    10th Jul 2012
    2:51pm
    Does it cost more to have a group of people living in communal accommodation where all their day to day needs are met and administered by skilled carers and trades persons, Where food is bulk purchased, where power is supplied to only one establishment, where there is little need for individuals to travel to a shopping centre, where essentials such as laundry and bathing are efficiently catered for. I would be interested in seeing a comparison of costs of living to a similar group left to their own expertise outside such a community. Kenlow.
    Supernan
    10th Jul 2012
    3:14pm
    I agree the main problem is pensions are too low. ALL Political parties are GUILTY there. The current Opposition did VERY LITTLE when in power.
    I agree the Carbon Tax IS a good thing. AUSTRALIA is NOT the only country to have one. 32 OTHER COUNTRIES have one. Even INDIA has a Pollution Tax on Coal. CHINA spends more per head on renewal energy & pollution reduction than ANY COUNTRY in the world.
    Yes it will protect the Environment. The Clean Energy Package will reduce carbon pollution by 25% by 2020.
    Whether Climate change is real or not, WHATS WRONG WITH WANTING CLEAN AIR ? ? What right has big business to POLLUTE the air I breathe ?
    retroy
    10th Jul 2012
    3:38pm
    Try getting some clean air in urban China.

    I have been there a number of times and I'm told they are lucky to get it a couple of days a year.

    If you think they are going to get it right you must believe in the tooth fairy.
    Joybells
    10th Jul 2012
    6:31pm
    Isn't it true though Supernan that we are paying the highest carbon tax of the countries having it in force??????
    Abby
    12th Jul 2012
    7:01am
    "The Clean Energy Package will reduce carbon pollution by 25% by 2020" I must ask where and 25% of what? In total Australia only produces less than 1% of pollution in the whole world.
    grannysally
    10th Jul 2012
    3:59pm
    Supernan I agree on research into renewable energy. I enthusiastically agree with pollution reduction eg plastic bags and a new phone and car and computer every year or 2. I love living in Cairns because the air is clean and the city is 10 mins in a car or 20 mins on a bike away. I abhore 'McMansions' and single person gas guzzlers commuting around in the big cities. I still do not think that an Australian tax on carbon dioxide (you know, the gas that causes plants to grow and us to breathe) will reduce pollution, here there or anywhere. I would rather see the millions of dollars spent on this extreme green dream spent on real problems like pensioner income and lifestyles.
    aquatrek
    13th Jul 2012
    5:13pm
    One certain MP named Garret was responsible for introducing a nationwide ban on using plastic bags but .......................... maybe he wrote a bad song about it ?
    harold
    10th Jul 2012
    4:15pm
    I agree we need to have a carbon tax. Otherwise how will we pay the huge increases in Federal Government salaries for our huge number of politicians?
    DCMc
    10th Jul 2012
    4:20pm
    This is a very biased comment. To begin with do we really need a carbon tax?
    With or without it the sun will still rise tomorrow. Though I remember well as a young boy similar scientists predicted that the sun would burn out within my lifetime. That was about 60 years ago. I am still waiting.
    Just as many generations will pass before global warming becomes a problem. Climate change is a way of life, good years and bad years, felt more so in this arid country.
    But alarmist propaganda is alarmist propaganda. Why then do we need academics?

    We do not need the carbon tax, the handouts or the rise in the cost of living.
    It has often been said that eventually politicians will find a way to tax the air we breath.

    The carbon tax is not quite there yet as it only taxes the air we exhale.

    God save the trees.
    Waytoopoortobeme
    10th Jul 2012
    4:23pm
    Definately pensions are too low. It appears that we are returning to the dark ages when there was only a rich or poor society, no in betweens, when the poor had to live in extended families for necessity. The rich politicians really have no idea of the day to day struggle of pensioners and low income earners in Australia, nor do they care. They will not retire and be forced to live or should I say exist on meagre offerings.
    I'd also like to know if my immediate neighbors might incur a carbon tax for the pollution caused by their tendency to burn anything and everything to just to keep warm? Many yuppies our way get very disgruntled with secondhand smoke from the chimneys.
    Abby
    12th Jul 2012
    7:07am
    Unfortunately the carbon tax will force many more people to use wood fires to try to keep warm and hence more pollution will be caused and many more trees which absorb CO2 will be chopped down.
    Boof
    10th Jul 2012
    4:28pm
    I thought that the CARBON TAX USERS', were the ones who have to pay the TAX. It seems to me that they , the perpetrators, JUST PASS IT ON TO EVERY ONE ELSE. They still enjoy their huge salaries.(CEO's and Board members of the many electrical companies, whom the various Governments have privatised into being). Perhaps Bob Carr, who announced yesterday that we will be giving Afghanastan a billion dollars Gr8, Bob. I hopeit's your money. I've got a better idea. Why not get the "Poppy Lords" who are supplying the world with HEROIN, to chuck in a couple of billion $$$$s, of their own, each. That would no doubt save the situation, Bob. Maybe give Australian Pensioners a Billion, too, out of what is left over, for services and lives, rendered, in Afghanistan.
    Boof
    10th Jul 2012
    4:43pm
    IF THE WORLD LEADERS' WOULD STOP THE ILLEGAL LOGGING OF THE RAIN FORESTS. NOT IF THEY COULD, AS THEY CAN. IF THEY WANTED TO. BUT, THEY DON'T WANT TO UPSET CHINA, WHO ARE THE REAL CRIMINALS IN THIS PRACTISE, AS WELL AS IVORY AND MANY OTHER PROBLEMS, ASSOCIATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND CLEAN AIR AND WATER.
    Of course, the rich really need those Gorilla hands that they cut off to make ashtrays, for their trophy rooms, where they can enjoy a cigar and a drink.
    Boof
    10th Jul 2012
    4:44pm
    IF THE WORLD LEADERS' WOULD STOP THE ILLEGAL LOGGING OF THE RAIN FORESTS. NOT IF THEY COULD, AS THEY CAN. IF THEY WANTED TO. BUT, THEY DON'T WANT TO UPSET CHINA, WHO ARE THE REAL CRIMINALS IN THIS PRACTISE, AS WELL AS IVORY AND MANY OTHER PROBLEMS, ASSOCIATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND CLEAN AIR AND WATER.
    Of course, the rich really need those Gorilla hands that they cut off to make ashtrays, for their trophy rooms, where they can enjoy a cigar and a drink.
    Porthos
    11th Jul 2012
    12:57pm
    A person lying injured on the pavement is ignored by passers by.

    A world getting warmer and climatically more violent is ignored by passers by.

    It only takes one person to stop and take action for others to realise their selfishness. Australia has taken that action in respect to climate change (along with 32 other countries).

    We will all benefit in the end including the selfish and those who can't accept scientific fact.
    aquatrek
    13th Jul 2012
    5:24pm
    The true scientific fact is that the earth has cycles of freezing [especially the more land massed northern hemisphere] and then warming again. The last ice age ended about 20,000 yrs ago promoting the rapid expansion of homo sapiens across the planet and the previous warm period [inter-glacial] about 125,000 yrs ago. This is all clearly shown in ice cores. Recent research indicates that the whole earth was warmer then by about 2 C and that the oceans may have been up to 9 m higher than at present. So if you think that humans can control climate change then your head is ............
    grannysally
    11th Jul 2012
    1:08pm
    Scientific fact on the rising sea levels in the Pacific July 10 to June 11 can be found on the Bureau of Meteorology website http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO60102/IDO60102.2011_1.pdf
    The data there proves that much to the dismay of those scientists on the climate change bandwagon, there was no rising sea level.
    aquatrek
    13th Jul 2012
    5:27pm
    I studied a particular 'entrapped' beaches sand budget and by using photographs from the present and going back up to a 100 years clearly showed that the beach had not altered at all - apart from the beaches own cyclical seasonal budget movements. 100 years in a geological time frame is insignificant.
    Watto
    11th Jul 2012
    1:42pm
    I'm with you GrannySally . However , it is not hip to be realistic , you must be an alarmist these days .
    Boof
    11th Jul 2012
    2:41pm
    I also agree with grandsally and Watto, but I still believe that if we keep cutting down rainforests and interferring with the wild forna and flora, we will cause "Climate Change" in the future, or a depletion in the oxgen level, in the atmosphere, for sure and certain. I really think climate change is B.S.. At this time::" Before the Pharaoh's and the people before the Egyptians and Pyramids started cutting down all the tree's in their forests there wasn't the great desserts that are there to-day. It was covered in forestation". Deserts have an effect on climate. Wouldn't you all, say.
    Porthos
    11th Jul 2012
    3:01pm
    Thanks for your BOM website info grannysally. If you refer to page 31 you'll find a table (summarising results) demonstrating that (on average) sea level has risen by 4.945 mm per year in the last 12 years.

    Therefore in 10 years sea level has risen half a centimeter.

    It is common for non scientists to quote selectively to support their point of view. In this case, yes sea level droppped marginally in some instances in 2011 but if one reads the whole article these results are consistent with short term variations in temperature and pressure.
    toot2000
    12th Jul 2012
    12:34pm
    Agree, it's common for non-scientists to quote selectively to support their view that global warming is rubbish, but scientists can't agree either. The day that all scientists agree that we are causing sea levels to rise, I'll switch horses.
    aquatrek
    13th Jul 2012
    5:46pm
    I made a statement in a class paper about 2009 that contradicted an IPCC http://www.ipcc.ch/
    scientists view of future potential large oceanic happenings - that damage was more imminent in Oz from a tsunami than sea level rise and since then there has been a small Pacific alert and the Japanese disaster. We live on the Pacific 'ring of fire' so I see that as much more likely to create havoc than 100 yrs of glacial melt. Yet some science is also correct in that rising CO2 levels are raising ocean acidity - therefore the biological food chains will have to adapt or fail. I think that much of the public perception is confused by climate change versus weather as Boof points out below.
    Boof
    12th Jul 2012
    8:46am
    PORTHOS. iT IS A NOT SO WELL KNOWN FACT THAT WEATHER PATTERNS OCCUR IN SEVEN YEAR CYCLES UP TO 49 YEARS (50 APPROX). THEN REPEAT THE CYCLES. AT THE END OF THE 49 (50) AND (98 (100) YEAR CYCLES AN EXTREME EVENT USUALLY HAPPENS. IT IS NOT AN EXAC, TO THE DAT, SCIENCE, BUT NEAR ENOUGH.
    aquatrek
    13th Jul 2012
    5:30pm
    hey Boof - unless your vision impaired please refrain from capitals - etiquette you know hehe
    Richard n
    14th Jul 2012
    11:23pm
    I just love homilies telling us how good the carbon tax is for us. Especially the line about not being able to look the grandkids in the eye if we don't have a carbon tax.No. I like most Australians have just stop listening to Gillard and Combet , their luney green mates and also anyone sticking uo for this illogical stupid tokenistic job destroying unmandated tax.
    toot2000
    15th Jul 2012
    11:37am
    At the height of the global warming date, in 2003 Tim Flannery bought a low-lying waterfront home on the Hawkesbury River, a remote getaway which only has water access, what a hypocrite!
    rosemaryjune
    20th Jul 2012
    11:22am
    They are already taking 85% of their pension. If they are in high care, in actual fact they take more than the pension already. My understanding is that pensioners were given an allowance, not as a permanent fortnightly rise. I personally am not on a Govt. Pension. I am living on my Super.


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