The ABC has revealed its annual wages bill for all staff is $437 million, with its top on-air talent taking home salaries of more than $225,000 per year. The top 20 per cent of employees take home $124 million.
However, the public broadcaster has refused to reveal exactly what individual on-air presenters receive in taxpayer money citing the Privacy Act. However, managing director Michelle Guthrie’s annual pay has been revealed at $900,000.
The ABC was grilled about what it paid its staff by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson during a recent Senate hearing and has since revealed five of the broadcaster’s top on-air presenters were paid between $375,000 and $450,000.
The broadcaster also revealed that it had 33 staff overall who were paid more than $250,000 per year. Ten executives who report to Guthrie are on packages over $400,000.
Hanson and her party have regularly campaigned to have the ABC budget slashed by as much as $600,000 per year; however, Hanson’s gripe is less about public expenditure and more about claims of bias by ABC journalists against the One Nation party.
These latest revelations of highly paid execs and talent will no doubt again fuel calls for the ABC to have its budget slashed.
In its response to questions raised in the Senate, the ABC also claimed 132 new positions had been created in 2017, but also admitted there had been 89 retrenchments with a redundancy bill of $9.3 million.