Australia’s 2021 Federal Budget, announced on 11 May 2021, includes measures and funding concerning retirement, health, workforce and aged care.
Measures include AU$2.3 billion of funds to support mental health and combat suicide; increased bulk billing payments to improve rural health, which could benefit employees who work remotely; improvements to private health insurance affordability and sustainability; continuation for a further two-year period of the current income tiers for the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Private Health Insurance Rebate (and an in-depth study to review the current thresholds); and a six-month extension of telehealth services.
A budget spending program includes measures to finance additional childcare, vocational and leadership training to support women, and a Job Trainer Fund to improve workforce skills.
AU$17.7 billion will be allocated over a five-year period to implement the recommendations issued by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The measures include funding for 80,000 new home care packages over the next two years, and the provision of respite care and support services for informal and family carers of older Australians.