I do not doubt that the arts are an essential part of any country's culture.
The issue that is being disputed is whether the arts should be funded through voluntary means or whether there should be a significant amount of funding taken from the pockets of taxpayers and then distributed by a quango.
If it is widely recognised that the arts are essential for our culture, then there should be no problem financing them from voluntary sources.
Those voluntary sources are many - the sale of tickets, donations, private subscription, corporate sponsorship, legacies and the National Lottery. The National Lottery - which is a form of voluntary tax - is the only legitimate form of state support.
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