The government says it has created a new national fund to help people in their 60s and 70s with housing, pensions and childcare costs after the federal budget announced it was increasing funding to help Australians hit the retirement age.
Key points:The government has said the fund will help retirees in their 80s and 90s pay for their living expensesA spokeswoman said the government had no plans to increase funding for aged careThe fund will cover costs like child care, childcare and retirement benefits, including for people who have no other source of income and have children aged under the age of 18.
“This will give a much-needed cushion to Australians aged over 65 and over 70 who are unable to access their income and pensions in a timely and sustainable way,” the spokeswoman said.
“We recognise that these aged-care and childcare needs are complex and complex needs that are likely to be exacerbated by a significant increase in the age at which Australians retire.”
The spokeswoman said $20 million of the $100 million was allocated to the fund and the remainder would be earmarked for “family assistance”.
She said it would provide “a lifeline to those who are at risk of falling behind financially”.
The spokeswoman would not say how many people would be eligible for the fund, but said there were around 1.5 million people aged 65 and above who were “at risk” of falling over the retirement threshold.
The spokesman said the amount allocated would be sufficient to cover costs such as child care and childcare and was expected to be spent within 30 days.
She did not say if the fund would cover expenses like child support, child care assistance or other family assistance.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Finance said it was working with the Commonwealth Government and other state and territory governments to provide the fund.
“In conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions, the Commonwealth has developed a new fund to support people aged over 60 and over in their 50s and 60s, with the Government committed to continue funding this fund to ensure a safe and secure retirement,” the spokesperson said.
The spokeswoman also said the $20-million figure included $1.5 billion in new money, but added that the government expected the remainder to be allocated over the next six months.
“We expect this funding to cover the cost of ongoing services and support services,” she said.
The spokeswoman declined to say how much of the money was allocated for a national fund, the amount spent or how many beneficiaries would receive it.
An increase in funding for childcare services and childcare assistance has already been announced, and is expected to continue for another two years.
There were around 7 million Australians aged 65 or over who were not covered by any other source in 2017, according to the Department Of Human Services.
A spokesman for the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) said the money would be used to support young people, families and older people.
“The ACOSS Foundation will use this money to support parents, grandparents and carers to ensure that their children, and their families and carer, have access to quality and affordable childcare,” he said.