Local councils should not fund arts

Steve Davies appears on BBC Local Radio

Regarding calls for councils to fund local arts and entertainment, Steve Davies discussed his opposition to the proposals.

"If we grant, as indeed I do, that the arts are extremely valuable, bring all sorts of benefits to society and they are in general a good thing, it doesn't follow then that Government should be funding or supporting this. We should really leave these sorts of things to civil society and to private action," argued Dr Davies.

Dr Davies went on to state that it is wrong to make the taxpayer fund something that may or may not have any interest in. There are a number of highly successful commercial businesses involved in the arts indicating that they do not need to be subsidised. It is therefore illogical to assume that these businesses would disappear without subsidies from the public purse.

Regarding the idea that solely private provision of arts and entertainment would allow only the rich to attend, Dr Davies argued that this is "totally untrue".

"Firstly, many of our greatest cultural institutions were actually formed by spontaneous working class or lower middle class action and they provided products not just for wealthy but for general society. Secondly, if things are run on a commercial basisthen the way to really make money is not by selling luxury goods to the rich but by selling low cost goods to the mass market," proposed Dr Davies.

Listen to the full programme here. Segment starts at 31.07.

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