The government spends about £220 million a year supporting museums and galleries in the UK, and a similar amount subsiding the visual and performing arts. This is a huge sum to spend on minority interests and the money would be better spent on more important things. It should be up to the people who enjoy cultural attractions to pay for them. What are your views?
Museums, art galleries, visual and performing arts are an important aspect of our lives. Art is a form of expression which each individual has an opportunity to be involved in. These art forms promote culture, history, traditions, make people aware of important social issues and are a source of entertainment.
Without government funding and support many young, struggling, talented artists would not be able to exhibit their work. Artists focus their talents on their art work and pay little attention to financial matters, relying on support and promotion from the government. In addition, it is not fair to say that art lovers do not pay for enjoying art. There is an entrance fee to museums and art galleries that host contemporary exhibitions and the government is able to cover costs in this way. Sadly, when there is an economic crisis, the arts are the first to receive a haircut.
Priority is usually given to areas of national and majority interest when the government is deciding its budget. The economy, growth, unemployment, health and education are usually at the top of the spending list. These issues are important and the government should prioritize when it comes to providing basic needs for its citizens. Without work, health and an education, people would have no interest in art.
Although the government does appear to be over-spending on the arts, I do believe there is a necessity to support expression. Art is for all people and not only a minority interest. Individuals do pay admission fees which could help the government balance their expenses.
Question taken from Focus on IELTS, Longman p.69