Are Australians willing to pay more tax to support wage increases for aged care workers? Findings from a national survey

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Abstract

Objective: To explore the perceptions of the Australian public regarding Australia's aged care workforce, including their willingness to pay more tax to fund better pay and conditions for aged care workers. Methods: An online survey was developed and administered to a representative sample of Australian adults (aged ≥18 years) by age group, gender and Australian state. Survey respondents completed a series of attitudinal statements to elicit their perceptions of the value of Australia's aged care workforce and were asked to indicate their willingness to pay additional tax to fund better pay and conditions for aged care workers. Those who gave a positive response were then asked to indicate what percentage of additional tax per year they would be willing to pay to ensure better pay and conditions for aged care workers. Results: A total of 2033 adult respondents completed the survey. A majority (78%) of respondents either ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that aged care workers should be paid more. Approximately half of the respondents (50.57%) expressed a willingness to pay more tax to ensure better pay and conditions for aged care workers. The mean willingness to pay was 1.31% additional tax overall, and mean percentage additional tax values were relatively consistent across key socio-demographic indicators. Conclusions: A majority of the Australian public are in favour of improving the wages and employment conditions of aged care workers. However, only one in two Australians is willing to pay more tax to ensure better pay and conditions for aged care workers.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Early online date17 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2022

Keywords

  • health care economics and organizations
  • health services for the aged
  • homes for the aged
  • nursing homes
  • salaries and fringe benefits
  • taxes
  • wages
  • workforce

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