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The government is feeling quite bruised over the claim it cut funding to the aged care sector.

Greg Hunt was out early this morning attempting to quell it:

Yes, I am because we’ve added $5bn in the last budget, the last budget has gone from $81.6bn for aged care to $86.6bn, so an increase of a billion dollars a year over our time in government and over the period of what’s called the forward estimates or the life of the budget, we are up from $13bn in the last year of the previous government to $20bn this year, 21 next year, 22 the following year and 23 the year after that.

So, a $5bn increase in the last budget. And each year every year an increase of approximately $1bn”

The Budget includes savings of $1.2 billion over four years through changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) used by residential aged care providers to determine the base funding for each resident.[2] This is in addition to the $472.4 million savings over four years through changes to the ACFI scoring matrix that were announced in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2015–16 (MYEFO).[3]

The ACFI is a tool used to assess the care needs of permanent residents through a series of questions that determine funding across three domains: Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Behaviour and Complex Health Care (CHC). The greater the assessed need in each domain, the higher the basic subsidy for the resident. This basic subsidy (determined by the ACFI) accounted for the majority of the funding ($9.7 billion out of $10.6 billion) the Australian Government paid for residential care subsidies and supplements in 2014–15.[4]

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The government has kickstarted the week with an attempt to get ahead of this evening’s first Four Corners episode into the aged care sector, by announcing a royal commission.

But the prime minister is already having to defend himself, over budget decisions he made in 2016 as treasurer, where the “further revisions of the aged care instrument” saw $1.6bn cut from the sector over four years.

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