Saturday, 13 October 2007

Good News?

Good news, I think. It's always difficult to penetrate the minutiae of Government funding strategies, and judging by the slapdash grammar the BBC writer hasn't spent a great deal of time doing so either. But it appears that, despite DCMS receiving only an inflation-level increase in its budget, the department has been able to announce a slightly above-inflation increase in the budget for ACE. It's not whooping and tossing of hats into the air stuff, but it's good news - not least because it goes some way to proving the thesis that James Purnell is a genuine friend to the arts.

Of course, a fair chunk of that money must go into funding the Cultural Olympiad. But artists needn't feel particularly threatened, as it seems increasingly likely that those responsbile for disbursing the cash will use it to fund the sorts of projects that would have got funded anyway. And I predict that in the next round of ACE policy reviews, the criteria will be re-adapted to place a much bigger focus on excellence. Call it a hunch.

But we're not in the sunlit uplands yet, because there'll be an election in 2009 which, the way Brown's going, the Tories are in serious danger of winning. And how do you think they'll fund their massive cut in inheritance tax?

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