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Arts is a ‘nice-to-have’, NOT essential Budget spending

18 MAY 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Prime Minister’s assertion that arts and culture funding is ‘not a nice-to-have’ will leave taxpayers dumbstruck, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Taxpayer-funded arts initiatives are the epitome of a nice-to-have. New Zealanders facing failing core services will balk at the Prime Minister’s attempt to argue otherwise.”

“It’s true that arts and culture enrich the lives of New Zealanders, which is why the sector attracts private investment and philanthropy. It doesn’t follow that taxpayers should be forced to subsidise it.”

“We can only hope that if we face another financial crisis or major natural disaster the Prime Minister will change her attitude and reprioritise spending accordingly.”

Budget 2018 includes about $30 million in new arts and culture funding. This could have been better spent on core services, or even returned as tax relief to the people who earned it.”

ENDS

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