State arts funding raises costs

Philip Booth appears on the Daily Politics

Following a £40m cut in public funding toward the Arts Council, Philip Booth explained why the arts should be financed by the private sector.

"Those that wish to cut Government funding of the arts are branded philistines or dangerously ignorant by leading figures in the arts industry," stated Professor Booth.

"Were we a nation of philistines before 1946 when Government funding of the arts took off? Certainly not."

Prior to public funding, the arts had to appear to the masses but now, the taxpayer finances much of the sector whether they like it or not. Shakespeare was a popular and commercially successful writer but today the Royal Shakespeare Company receives 50 per cent of its funding from the state.

"In 2008, the Arts Council had 50 press and communication officers, no wonder it's such a good advocate for state funding. Of course the state also crowds out private funding and raises costs. Indeed, would it not be a sign of a less philistine nation if those who consume the arts actually had a more active interest in their support," argued Professor Booth.

Watch here.

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