RTHK in funding cutback

THE spending power of RTHK has suffered a 1.2 per cent cut in real terms with its budget estimate for 1993-94 at $303.3 million.

According to the public broadcaster's deputy director, Mr Chu Pui-hing, funds allocated to RTHK in the past three years have fallen 16 per cent in real terms - resulting in fewer programmes and staff cuts.

Television production during the 1993-94 financial year will be nine hours a week, down from the 1989-90 average of 12 hours a week, while radio output is down between seven and eight per cent over the same period.

The main reason for the reduced service is staff cuts, said Mr Chu. And although full time staff posts are estimated to remain at the 1992 level of 709, Mr Chu said a further nine posts would go during 1993-94.

RTHK Programming Staff Union representative, Mr Cliff Bale, called on the Government to ''start ploughing money into RTHK''.

In its analysis, RTHK estimates it will spend a further $5.2 million on radio, bringing the 1993-94 total to $125.4 million.

Money spent on producing public affairs television will increase by $1 million to $154.8 million.