BECTU criticises Autumn Statement as 'missed opportunity'

The Stage

23 Nov 2023

by Gemma Nettle

Campaign for the Arts director Jack Gamble raised similar concerns, claiming that local spending was forecast to decline further over the next five years, with local arts access “highly likely to suffer as a result”.

He said: “Despite a creativity crisis in English schools, there was a deafening silence on the £270m arts premium – promised in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto, and by the Prime Minister at the 2020 Budget, but still not delivered.

“Twenty one billion pounds of tax cuts will be supported by £19 billion of real-terms spending cuts to government departments, but there was no indication of where the axe will fall. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is already facing a drop in its total budget next year.”

At the Spring Budget, the chancellor identified the creative industries as one of the five priority areas for the UK economy, but Gamble felt Hunt only gave them a “passing mention”.

Gamble continued: “The government is right to say that culture and creativity will be key to our future well-being, socially and economically.

“But how can this potential be realised with public investment falling, student numbers plummeting and local access increasingly at risk?”