The only budget warm glow
Right on the heels of the announcement of the new GetUp! campaign on children in detention comes this email to GetUp! subscribers claiming success in their previous campaign to secure greater funding for the ABC (on which I blogged previously). This is what they emailed to those of us on their email lists:
Real people acting together to hold politicians to account: this is what GetUp is all about, and in our record-breaking Fund Our ABC campaign, there were more than 78,600 of us who did just that. Congratulations! Here's what you achieved.This would probably be the only warm glow from the Howard government's 11th budget announced last Tuesday, which once again delivers tax cuts to the wealthy, at the expense of better funding for education, health, overseas development aid and, as the Federal Opposition is pointing out, funding for expanding child care places in an ever shrinking market.
The ABC will now get an extra $88.2 million over the next three years. That's an extra $30 million to produce Australian content, an extra $13.2 million to enhance regional and local programming and an extra $45 million to upgrade equipment and infrastructure.
These additional funds still fall short of the recommendations from the independent consultant KPMG, but they far surpass anything experts were predicting seven weeks ago when we launched our campaign. ABC Chairman Donald McDonald calls this the best budget outcome for the ABC in more than 20 years - reminding us, and our politicians, what Australians can accomplish when we work together. With that in mind, special thanks to the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and Friends of the ABC for their exceptional efforts.
Oooh, I'm so looking forward to getting my $10 dollars a week tax cut (if at that), which if I'm lucky will get me a sandwhich and a milkshake in a couple of years, considering where this budget will take inflation...