“No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS,” was Tony Abbott’s promise to Australian voters on the eve of the 2013 election.
Now the Prime Minister could go back on that promise by cutting the ABC’s budget to find extra government budget savings.
Fairfax Media reports the government could apply the public service efficiency dividend to the ABC budget which would see the $1.03 billion allocated in the 2013 federal budget annually reduced by 2.25% — stripping it of $22.5 million in the first year.
Further cuts would then be applied each following year.
The Abbott government considers the approach not a broken promise but a means to an end.
Craig Laundy, Liberal backbencher and advocate for the ABC says he will support the decision to make the ABC “more efficient.””
“If we can run the ABC more efficiently while maintaining the quality of the product and save taxpayers money, we should,” Laundy said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is also considering stripping the ABC of its $223 million contract to provide the international broadcasting service, the Australia Network.
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