MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
FACT: GOVERNMENT MISLEADS ON ABC CUTS
The Prime Minister and the Minister for Communications have been caught red-handed misleading the Australian public on ABC funding cuts.
RMIT ABC Fact Check found the Government’s claim that there are no cuts to the ABC’s budget because ABC funding is rising each year to be misleading.
In the face of devastating ABC job cuts and service reductions, both Scott Morrison and Paul Fletcher repeatedly claimed, on multiple occasions, that“there are no cuts … the ABC’s funding is increasing every year”.
Fact Check found:
The budget shows a year-on-year decline in real funding over the four years set out in the 2019-20 budget.
By 2022-23 Budget Paper No. 1 shows a 10.6 per cent decline in real operational funding, while the Portfolio Budget Statements show a 7.7 per cent decline.
In a further humiliation to the Minister, Fact Check even found Paul Fletcher’s claim about Fact Check’s general position on the issue of cuts to be incorrect, concluding:
ABC funding … decreases year-on-year in real terms. It therefore can be, and should be, referred to as a cut.
This Government’s arrogance, poor judgment and contempt for the truth is on full display.
Scott Morrison’s cuts to the ABC are irresponsible, his denial of ABC cuts is misleading and his inability to interpret the budget papers is incompetent.
The evidence that Paul Fletcher is untrustworthy and incompetent is piling up. The Minister has misled on ABC cuts, ignored ABC Board requests for information and misled on collaboration between the public broadcasters.
The ABC is an essential service that keeps Australians safe and our democracy secure, in our cities, in the bush and in the Asia-Pacific region.
Cutting the national broadcaster is reckless and irresponsible. Misleading the Australian public about cuts to one of our most trusted institutions weakens our society.
THURSDAY, 16 JULY 2020