Despite the perception that the ABC is nothing more than a left-leaning, Abbott-baiting mouthpiece of Bourgeois elitists the public broadcaster actually scored some more cash in last night’s Budget.
The Budget forecasted the ABC would get increased spending from 2017-2018. However, things were less exciting for its public broadcaster stablemate, SBS, who would continually have to rely on increases to its prime-time advertising – a move that is presently being blocked in the Senate and is also vehemently opposed to by the other three free-to-air stations.
Following 12 months of staff and program cuts to the ABC, the broadcaster is expected to turn in a $5.7 million profit over the financial year to July 2016; however, it is also expected to shed almost 200 jobs in that time too.
The Australian has this morning reported that the ABC’s reduced spending will bottom out at $1.105 billion in 2016-17, before rising to $1.116bn in 2017-18 and $1.123bn in 2018-19.
Things were decidedly more grim at the Special Broadcasting Service who don’t want any more ad air time, but they do want it during the more lucrative evening slots. Last night’s Budget papers said that if this move isn’t approved by the Senate soon then SBS will be forced to implement cuts to its programs and services, effective from 2015-16.
For some unknown reason Labor and the Greens have repeatedly rejected SBS’ pleas for changes to how and when it can show ads. It is predicted if the bill was to pass the Senate its revenues would soar by almost 15 per cent over four years to almost $104 million. However, SBS is still expected to cut staff further in the coming years.
The Australian reported that “last year’s budget banked savings of $43.5m over four years through a one per cent reduction in the base funding for the ABC and SBS. Further efficiency savings of $250m over five years, including $83.9m in 2018-19, were announced in December.”
Following on from the cancellation of the Australia Network last year, the Treasurer last night announced that the ABC’s ‘The Conversation’ website would also be canned saving the public purse a further $1 million.