Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is under fire after unveiling a new plan to reduce the federal budget deficit by means testing access to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). The move comes as Education Minister Christopher Pyne is rejecting claims that the government supports means testing public schooling.
Under the proposed scheme, residents who live in households with combined incomes exceeding $120 000 will attract a 0.5% levy on their personal income, to be known as the ABC levy. Taxpayers will have the option of then gaining exemption to the levy by privately investing in their televised home entertainment content through a subscription to Foxtel, Netflix, Stan or Presto.
Next week the government will embark upon a twenty two million dollar televised advertising campaign to explain how the new levy will work. It is estimated that after the advertising campaign is funded and the levy is administrated the levy will cost the government twelve thousand dollars, which will be paid through efficiency dividends to the ABC.