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What Exactly Are Government’s Spending Priorities?

At a time when police recruit intakes are being cancelled and the Health budget is being squeezed it seems ludicrous for the Associate Minister of Arts and Culture to talk about paying artists a weekly wage, said ACT Arts spokesman Penny Webster.

“Ms Tizard is comparing the job of police and teachers with artists and suggesting that they deserve a weekly wage. Yet on the other hand Michael Cullen is talking about austerity and the Prime Minister is refusing to spend $2,000 to carry on the traditional Christmas lighting of the Norfolk pine.

“In any society artists of all expressions are important. However the judge of a good artist is the amount people are willing to pay for the art. It is certainly not up to the Government to decide who, what or which art is good, and who or which should be included in such a subjective field.

“New Zealand can boast many excellent artists from visual to musical to print. But they became excellent because of the quality of their works not because of some government handout with an order to perform,” said Penny Webster.


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