Health and Social Care Minister John Swinney says that people with less than $18,000 in disposable income are still disproportionately in the “passive” category and are less likely to be able to afford a private health insurance plan.
He said this is a situation where people need a “basic level of income support” but also “a basic level of financial resources”.
He says this needs to be balanced against the need for health and social care workers to continue to “help people in their own right”.
“The government is aware of the impact that low income earners have on people’s ability to get a private medical insurance plan, and is working to ensure that people have access to health care,” Mr Swinneys statement said.
“It is important to recognise that the situation for people in the passive category is even worse than for the other groups, with many people in this group having no financial resources at all.”
As a result, people with low income are particularly at risk of being at risk for being put into a system that is not meeting the needs of the people in it.
“The Government will release its first national report on passive income later this year, and Mr Swinsney says the Government wants to improve the situation by focusing on those in the middle of the income distribution, those who are able to receive social care services, and those who do not have income to pay for them.
The government says people earning between $18K and $30K per year should be able pay for their own health care, but not the care of others.
It also says it is encouraging more people to buy private health plans, saying that is a step that will help to “ensure that people in need of care have access”.
The government also says there are many more people than the “basic income guarantee” (BIG) could cover, which will require additional funding for the public health system.
What is a BIG?
A BIG is an income guarantee which provides for payments from the Commonwealth to all Australians who do work.
A big chunk of the Australian population are on a BIG, and this is where the government wants to ensure it can “make a dent” in the $100bn debt the country has.
So if a BIG doesn’t work, it is unclear how the government will fund other social programs that are not currently funded by the government.
The government announced that the budget would increase the level of the Basic Income Guarantee to $25,000 for people aged between 16 and 64.
Mr Swinems statement also confirmed that the Government is introducing a national single person, couple and joint family allowance (SIPP) which will be funded by a new levy on the price of a new home.
But there is a catch.
SIPP is not going to apply to the cost of a home, it will only be paid for if the buyer of the property pays the full amount.
That means that the cost will be $100,000.
There is also a plan to increase the amount of housing benefit that is paid out by the Government every year.
In total, the Budget will increase the basic income guarantee by $26 billion.