The ACT is a loser from Treasurer Scott Morrison's first federal budget, as the absence of marginal seats and pressure on the public service have resulted in few funding commitments.
The budget papers suggest the workforces of Canberra's national cultural institutions will drop by about 63 full-time equivalent positions in 2016-17, with the National Library of Australia losing 28 positions in a move blamed in part on a decline in revenue from external sources.
The government will save nearly $2 billion from its efficiency dividend, imposed across the bureaucracy and set to remain at 2.5 per cent before dropping to 2 per cent in 2018-19.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has welcomed a small increase in the Commonwealth bonus payment for infrastructure sales. The ACT will receive $67 million, up from about $60 million, to be spent on the Gungahlin tram project.
The National Gallery's workforce will drop by 20 full-time equivalent positions, the budget papers show, while the National Film and Sound Archive will have 12 fewer jobs, as projected in the government's mid-year budget update.
The National Portrait Gallery will have three fewer jobs while the National Museum of Australia's workforce will grow by 11 full-time equivalent positions on average staffing levels next financial year. A single position will go from the Australia Council.
Old Parliament House staffing levels will be maintained at current levels, while Sydney's Australian National Maritime Museum will add five positions. Screen Australia, which supports film and documentary makers, will have three fewer jobs as it finds $10.3 million in budget savings.
In March, the government revealed national institutions would be forced to deliver nearly $40 million of savings within four years, above earlier federal budget cuts.
The efficiency dividend has had operating costs of Canberra-based galleries, museums and libraries trimmed for nearly 30 years, despite bipartisan opposition and community concern. Already institutions have cut their expenses by $29.4 million since September 2013, when the Coalition government was elected.
The National Library and the National Museum were already on notice to find $14.7 million in collective savings by 2018-19. The Library has announced ongoing job and services cuts, in addition to a $1.5 million lost in the mid-year update.
The staffing cuts, an effect of the efficiency dividend and other economy drives in the public service, disproportionally impact Canberra's institutions over other government agencies, because of their small size and lack of ability to absorb spending cuts.
One of the few funding commitments for the ACT contained in Tuesday's budget papers is $300,000 for the Travel Time Information project, with $250,000 to be spent in 2016-17 to enable the project to be completed next financial year.
The ACT also receives about $40 million each year for municipal services for Canberra, recognising the city's role as the national capital.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said about $500 million of the extra efficiency dividend savings would go to improving productivity and innovation, a potential opportunity for external consultants and firms outside the public service.
The Department of Human Services will have its head count reduced by 810, as about 300 go from both Immigration and Social Services. The Australian Taxation Office will grow by about 580 workers, including through a new multinational tax avoidance project, but the jobs are expected to be based in Sydney.
Some modest spending will benefit the politicians and Parliament House. The departments responsible for the House and Senate will receive a combined $5.4 million boost and about $5.2 million will be spent to increase the number of personal staff allocated to crossbench senators.
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