THE ABC's Mark Scott
THE ABC's Mark Scott

ABC funding to be cut to $5.2 billion over five years

AUSTRALIA'S national broadcaster has had its funding cut.

The reduction will see the taxpayer-funded ABC receive $5.2 billion over five years rather than $5.5 billion.The 4.6% reduction in funding will save taxpayers $254 million.

The SBS will also see a reduction of $25.2 million or 1.7% over the same period.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Wednesday it was up to the ABC and SBS to work out how to be more cost-effective and to better manage their resources across the country.

He said it would no doubt result in job losses.

"The savings the government is requiring of the ABC will result in a number of job losses," he said.

"Clearly in a business where its overhead is largely people and wages, any reduction or efficiency efforts and savings will result, sadly for the individuals involved, in a loss of employment."

Is the ABC good value for your money?

This poll ended on 26 November 2014.

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Yes. It offers great news and current affairs


No. It costs way too much


No. It pushes a minority view


Yes. It keeps the government on its toes


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Prime Minister Tony Abbott said during last year's election campaign that there would be no cuts to the ABC or SBS.

But his comments came before the ABC revealed the government had been spying on Indonesia, which embroiled the newly elected Abbott government in a phone hacking scandal.

ABC detractors claimed the story was held and then published, under the guise of public interest, to discredit the new conservative government.ABC boss Mark Scott refuted the allegations.

He said the story was in the public's interest despite it severely damaging the already delicate Australian and Indonesian political relationship.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said on Wednesday it was now clear the prime minister had lied to Australians.

He said it was a political attack on the broadcaster because it did not share the same views as the PM.

"Tony Abbott has effectively declared war on the public broadcaster," he said."

He wants to make it less relevant and he wants to make it weaker.

"He wants to deny literally millions of Australians who rely upon ABC and indeed the SBS the opportunity to get the same quality services."

The ABC is home to some of the best paid media professionals in the country with some earning up to more than double what is being payed in the private sector.

The ABC is also immune from the tough multi-platform media laws which other media companies across the nation must adhere to.

Senator Cory Bernardi once labelled the broadcaster as a taxpayer-funded behemoth that spreads a message which ignores the views of the vast majority of Australians.