Aged care funding to get $552.9 million boost
A MASSIVE boost to aged care will be part of the federal government's budget update as it confirms the smallest deficit since the Howard government era.
As the government prepares to use economic management as a key election battleground, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will confirm on Monday he is on track to deliver a surplus in 2019, and that the budget deficit is now at its lowest level since the Howard government - at close to $7 billion.
The government will promise to do more for older Australians with a $552.9 million increase to aged care funding, featuring another 10,000 high-level home care packages released within weeks.
There will be 3450 high-level home care packages for NSW alone, which will deliver nursing, mobility care, nutrition, meal preparation and transport support to help older Australians stay at home longer.
The plan will also reduce the maximum fees payable for packages by up to $400 a year for older Australians - 23,806 people in NSW will benefit from this.
The government will also invest more in regional aged care providers and invest another $98 million to fund increased payments to GPs to attend residential age care homes to treat patients.
While the federal Budget delivered in May predicted a deficit of $14.4 billion, today's figure will be close to $7 billion - cut by more than half, The Daily Telegraph understands.
This has been driven by higher receipts and lower payments.
"As the Prime Minister has made clear, next year we will deliver a budget surplus - the first in a decade," Mr Frydenberg said.
"Our economic fundamentals are strong, with the unemployment rate down to 5 per cent, economic growth faster than all G7 nations except the United States and our AAA credit rating reaffirmed."