By Steve HsuThe budget will see a cut of more than $300m in subsidies for commercial TV and radio over the next four years, and the Government has told MPs it will need $5.2bn in extra funding to offset the loss.
Treasury has revealed that it will seek a $5bn increase in its TV subsidies by 2019, with the total amount of TV and mobile phone subsidies to rise by $1.3bn over the same period.
But the Government will need to seek a further $1bn in additional funding from the states and territories to offset any cost increase.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said the cuts were “a nightmare” for households.
“This Government’s budget is a serious reflection of our commitment to making Australia a fairer place for everyone,” he said.
Treasurers budget is set to be released tomorrow morning.
Mr Morrison said that if the Government did not get a funding increase by 2019 it would “dismantle” the programs that helped households, particularly those living in remote areas.
He said the Government would seek a new $1,000 subsidy for every $1 spent on commercial TV, which is “not enough”.
“Our priority is ensuring families have the basic income they need to live comfortably,” Mr Morrison said.
The Budget also includes measures to address the “vulnerability” of the Australian banking system.
The measures include:A “vulnerable banking sector” is defined as “an institution that is highly vulnerable to the risk of a major financial event, including a significant downturn in the economy, an economic downturn or a financial shock”.
“These vulnerable banks will be affected by the economic conditions that result from any of the above events.”
This is the same definition of “vulnerabilities” used in previous budgets, but the Government says the current definition is less strict than those used in the past.
The Government has been criticized for the lack of details about how the new definitions will be applied to the banking system, and a spokeswoman said the definition is “still under discussion”.
The spokeswoman said it was “possible” that some of the funding may not be available to “vital banks” who are part of the “critical infrastructure” that supports Australia’s economy.
Mr Morrison says the Government wants to help Australians “have a voice in their financial future”.
He said he had been “very careful” in selecting which programs would be funded, saying “we have to keep the focus on helping people and their families”.
“We have been very clear to the Australian people that we are not a welfare state and we will never be,” he added.
“We want to make sure that the funds that we receive are not being used to fund some of our most vulnerable Australians.”
Treasurerer Scott Morrison says he will “get a better deal” for Australians over the long-term.
The ABC’s John Ryan has more.