The Scottish Government yesterday published its Spending Review 20122 – 12 and Draft budget for 2012 – 13. Its review of spending highlights the successes of the arts, culture and creative industries. But the outlook for culture is challenging. Culture budgets have been cut and the proportion of the overall government budget allocated to culture is decreasing. Local authority budgets have also been cut.
The specific figures are:
Next year, 2012/13, there is a decrease in the culture budget of £5.4 m for next year which is 3.5%.
In real terms this is 5.9% or £9.1m.
Over the period of the spending review, which is 2011/12 to 2014/15, the culture budget decreases by £22m which is 14.2 % in real terms.
(Table 12.02 page 173)
These cuts are disproportionate to the overall cut in Government spending between 2011/12 and 14/15, and represent a worrying decline in expenditure on culture as a proportion of the overall Government budget from 0.55% in 2011/12 to 0.50% in 2014/15 (in 2010/11 the figure was 0.59%):
The Spending Review does contain some positive allocations of expenditure for culture, for capital expenditure on the V & A and Glasgow’s Concert Hall and Theatre Royal. It also commits to expenditure of £10m for the Youth Music Initiative and £.3m for Arts and Business and the Cultural Enterprise Office. Both of these funds are ringfenced within Creative Scotland.
There is continued funding for several initiatives including the National Performing Companies International Touring Fund and the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop’s summary of the budget highlights the good news.
So for Culture Counts, one of our three requests has been met, to maintain and develop incentives for growth through specific initiatives locally and nationally.
We are disappointed that the other two requests have not. We asked that the Scottish Government Maintain continued core investment for culture but core investment for culture is decreasing as a proportion of the overall government budget.
The case for our third request is strengthened by this budget, that Culture and creativity is specifically included in any national outcome structure, strengthening the framework for local authorities to support culture .
The lack of a specific outcome for culture in the Performance Framework means that culture is described in the Spending Review in terms of its contribution to other outcomes.
COSLA’s response to the cuts gives a flavour of the challenges culture will face:
“The hard nosed facts are that in reality Scottish local government is going to be 7% down over the period of this spending review.
“When you add in £1bn worth of demand on the vital services we provide that takes us to 15% down, and that can mean only one thing a significant reduction in local services and local spend, neither of which is good news for local economies throughout Scotland.”
While there is no requirement to provide for participation in culture locally through the outcome agreements, the arts and culture are significantly exposed.
additional info: Fiona Hyslop’s statement on culture budget.