30 Jun 2014

Call to boost aged care funding

2:50 pm on 30 June 2014

The Aged Care Association is campaigning for a funding boost to increase the wages of caregivers in private rest homes and aged care facilities.

Caregivers employed by district health boards earn $17.50 an hour, while the 30,500 employed in private rest homes earn on average $15.30 an hour.

Aged Care Association chief executive Martin Taylor said the private homes paid caregivers less because of the low Government funding, and it believed the wages should match those of DHBs.

Mr Taylor said there was no risk of increased funding ending up in the pockets of rest home shareholders.

"We've made a commitment and we've said that if we get this funding level, at the rate we've asked for, which is $120 million - less than 1 percent of the health budget - that we would commit in our contracts to higher wages. So there's no fear at all from anyone that that would take place."