Meals on Wheels™ Australia: Federal Budget 2024 Statement

The Federal Budget has been released for 2024 and while there has been a focus on relieving the cost of living, there were several measures that aim to improve the lives of older Australians.

A welcomed increase of 24,100 Home Care Packages will enable older Australians to receive the support they need to live independently and well in the comfort of their homes – a desire of many. 

However, the decision to reallocate unspent Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) funds to other aged care programs instead of reinvesting into the basic services for older people via the CHSP, like Meals on Wheels is a concern.  Many CHSP services have closed their books to new clients. 

“We welcome new Government investment into home care and recognise essential services like Meals on Wheels need this support,” Chair of Meals on Wheels™ Australia, Paul Sadler says.

Mr Sadler says the delay to the commencement of the Aged Care Act until July 2025 “makes sense.”

“It needs more time to resolve key aspects, such as the over-the-top penalty regime in the Exposure Draft and completing the fees and subsidies section in line with the Aged Care Taskforce recommendations.”

“We still have time to get the design of the Support at Home reform right,” he says.

“It is really important to do so as around 1.2 million older people will be relying on the program once CHSP is added into it.”

“Being able to live independently at home is incredibly important to older people and Meals on Wheels is a vital service to support this outcome.”