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MS Australia’s Response to the 2024-25 Federal Budget

21 May 2024

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, delivered on 14 May 2024, addresses several critical needs for the MS community, focusing on better treatments, prevention, and support. 

See our Budget overview below. For our full analysis please download this document.

Aged Care 

MS Australia welcomes the $2.2 billion investment in aged care reforms, aligned with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendations. Key allocations include: 

  • $531.4 million for 24,100 additional Home Care Packages. 
  • $110.9 million over four years to enhance the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s regulatory capabilities. 
  • $1.2 billion for digital systems supporting the new Aged Care Act. 
  • $37 million for the My Aged Care Contact Centre to reduce wait times. 
  • $32.1 million for a Specialist Dementia Care Program. 
  • Commitment to increased wages for aged care workers and $87.2 million for workforce initiatives. 

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 

MS Australia supports the $468.7 million allocation to improve the NDIS and acknowledges that further investment will be needed in coming years to fund the NDIS reform. Key funding includes: 

  • $214 million over two years to fight fraud and co-design reforms. 
  • $160.7 million for IT upgrades to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. 
  • $45.5 million to establish a NDIS Evidence Advisory Committee. 
  • $20 million for consultation and design on service navigation reforms. 

Research 

MS Australia welcomes the $411.6 million commitment through the Medical Research Future Fund, aimed at continuing existing research missions and introducing new ones. Additionally, $18.8 million is allocated for a National One Stop Shop to streamline health and medical research administration. 

MRI Access 

MRI scans are crucial for MS diagnosis and monitoring. The budget allocates $69.8 million to increase the number of Medicare-eligible MRI machines, ensuring broader access to these essential services. 

PBS Medicines 

MS Australia supports the $3 billion agreement with community pharmacies, which includes a freeze on PBS patient co-payments and reduced costs for pensioners and concession cardholders. 

Disability Employment 

MS Australia welcomes $227.6 million for a new disability employment program and $54 million for paid work placement programs. Additionally, $23.3 million over four years is allocated to establish a Disability Employment Centre of Excellence. 

Carer Payment 

To better support carers, the budget provides $18.6 million over five years, increasing flexibility for Carer Payment recipients and raising the participation limit to 100 hours per week. 

Mental Health 

The budget’s $888.1 million package includes funding for digital mental health services, upgraded Medicare Mental Health Centres, and support for complex needs through Primary Health Networks. 

Energy Concessions 

Recognising the high energy needs of people with MS, the budget includes a $3.5 billion energy relief bill, offering a $300 rebate per household starting 1 July 2024. 

Income Support 

Improvements in income support include $1.9 billion over five years to increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance and extending eligibility for higher JobSeeker Payment rates. However, MS Australia notes these measures do not fully meet the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee’s recommendations. 

Nurses 

To attract more nursing students, $427.4 million over four years is allocated for the Commonwealth Prac Payment. Additionally, $227.0 million over three years will expand Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, easing pressure on emergency departments. 

For our full analysis please download this document. 

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MS Australia’s Response to the 2024-25 Federal Budget