Abbott announces ‘Year of Meals on Wheels’

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Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has announced plans to make 2012 the ‘Year of Meals on Wheels’, promising $2 million for the program that provides older Australians with food each day.

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Mr Abbott signalled the coalition would announce its aged care policy in the next few days.

But he urged voters not to expect too much.

“I want to caution people against expecting enormous dollars,” Mr Abbott told reporters.

“When we do come to make our aged care announcement in coming days, they will be carefully targeted, prudent and responsible, while also being respectful of the fiscal position.”

He blamed the Rudd and Gillard governments for throwing away the budget surplus amassed during the Howard years.

“It would be a lot easier to help in so many areas if we hadn’t been on such a poorly-targeted spending spree from this government over the last three years,” Mr Abbott said.

“It grieves me that so much of the legacy of the Hawke-Keating and the Howard-Costello government has been squandered.”

Mr Abbott predicted it would fall to the coalition to do a “fiscal repair job”.

“I think when the history of these times is written, the last three years will be seen as wasted years, years when our country stood still,” he said.

“I can understand why the prime minister talks constantly about moving forward because we’ve been standing still for the last three years.”

Mr Abbott is expected to announce a $16.5 million plan for the reuse of stormwater in Adelaide later on Friday.

It would trump a $10 million investment from Labor on Wednesday.

The coalition is also tipped to unveil a $100 million community water grants program.