ABCs of Auntie's budget

Recent reports the Abbott government is threatening to rescind the ABC's contract for Asian broadcast have tongues wagging that the Coalition may be ripening Auntie up for a funding cut. How much is the ABC's budget?

Recent reports that the Abbott government is threatening to rescind the ABC's contract for Asian broadcast have tongues wagging that the Coalition may be ripening Auntie up for a cut in funding. How much is the ABC's budget?


Graph for ABCs of Auntie's budget

The Coalition has cut funding before, by 11 per cent in 1998, when John Howard was Prime Minister. Since 1996, the ABC has seen its budget double in nominal terms thanks to largesse from both parties.

But as a proportion of total government spending the ABC's budget has gone backwards.


Graph for ABCs of Auntie's budget

In fact, accounting for inflation, the ABC's budget has effectively flatlined.

Graph for ABCs of Auntie's budget

Over that time the network launched extra digital channels and web services on top of its radio and TV offering. It launched its first website back in 1995.

FederaI budget papers show the ABC is clearly better off under Labor. During the Labor years the ABC's budget grew at a compound rate of just under 2 per cent. In contrast, under the Coalition it grew 0.1 per cent.

Given the recent, inflation adjusted, increases in the ABC's budget of 4.4, 4.4 and 2.6 per cent over the last three years, a shift back to trend under the Coalition could see its budget come under scrutiny.

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