England gets £10m arts boost, Scotland faces 9.5% cut

For the English arts settlement, click here. For the Scottish squeeze, click here.

So which government is working better for us, his or hers?

david cameron nicola sturgeon

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  • Remember though, the ACE numbers are only half the story in England – local government, which overall puts more (or certainly used to) into culture than central government, is cutting back like mad as a direct result of its funding settlement from the centre.

    • I don’t think it an unfair generalisation to suggest that most local government is more concerned with self-preservation than the arts. They have plenty of cash for arts if they wished to spend it that way, but instead there’s a veritable army of bureaucrats and hangers-on which grew up in the Blair/Brown years and is very reluctant to depart, instead desperately trying to garner more taxpayer’s cash to expand (as bureaucracies are wont to do). Glasgow council managed to spend a cool half-million between 2012 and now on “staff recognition and excellence awards”; and local authorities routinely pay senior staff substantial salaries with very generous terms and exit deals – the Chief Exec of Kingston resigned recently and took a shade under £270k with him. The money is there to pay for arts, it’s just spent on other things.

      • Actually I think that is an unfair generalisation. It may be true in some places, but certainly in Birmingham the Council has shed thousands of jobs with many more thousands to come. Most now say they will not be able to fund anything beyond statutory services (which excludes culture) beyond c.2018, and some are saying they won’t even be able to fulfil their legal obligations on current projections.

    • Not really. Scotland now has tax-raising powers of her own, and having spent years demanding them, they aren’t being used to increase the possible expenditure available to the Scottish Gvmnt.
      The Scottish Gvmt is changing spending allocation though, giving £500m more to the NHS and so on. If Scotland wanted to spend more on the arts, she is quite capable of doing so. The she chooses not to do so has nothing to do with Cameron, and everything to do with their own ministers.

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