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Funding the arts via the National Lottery amounts to one of the most regressive forms of tax. The poor buy a very large share of Lottery tickets and the rich benefit most from arts subsidies. Most Lottery proceeds should be going to local charities and not the arts.

Umbrella Man writes utter tosh. The National Lottery isn't a regressive form of tax. Spending anything on the lottery is completely optional. If people wish to waste their money on a pipe dream then it is great that good causes, including some of the Arts, should benefit.

It may be voluntary Dave but the proceeds should go back to the people who largely use the Lottery.

Well said, Jeremy Hunt, and thank you for an excellent keynote speech.

Nulabour is destroying the arts and heritage outside of its own heartlands. A Conservative government must take action to restore our precious cultural and historic heritage, in its many and diverse forms, popular as well as classic, which is the heart and soul our national culture and spirit.

Well done Jeremy for this excellent keynote speech. I like particularly the emphasis on encouraging philanthropy which contributes so much to the Arts in the USA. We need to encourage big donors not just to support opera, ballet and classical music which they already do to a great extent but must provide incentives for them to donate to the more populist causes as well.

Umbrella Man: "but the proceeds should go back to the people who largely use the Lottery."

Why? My involuntary taxes don't, by and large, come back to me. At least the "feeling lucky" folk are choosing to waste their money.

The Arts, mores the pity, aren't just opera, ballet and high-brow theatre. There's plenty of p.c. community arts baloney that is consumed (however unwillingly) by the great unwashed Lottery Ticket buyer. What's wrong with the idea that the Supermarket Sweep brigade may elevate their horizons at some point? The Victorians had the right idea on this one... uplifting the aspirations of the common bloke by providing access to high art.

Tax relief for "the creative industries" is actually a form of favouritism and subsidy.

The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd did not the support of the big quangos, state-organised gambling and tax relief to be successful. Subsidies to opera houses and orchestras inflate the fees of top artistes and conductors.

Several of our top impressarios got rich using taxpayers' money to market test theatre productions and taking the successful ones private in the West End and on tour.

It is time to halt the Arts gravy train.

Probably the most depressing feature of Hunt's oration, at least as reported here, is how very little it differs in any material way from the bland, supportive, dull stuff that politicians of all parties say about 'the arts' - it's just as well he made that carefully-crafted 'gaffe' about graffiti, as otherwise who'd have noticed his speech at all?

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