Sunday, May 04, 2008

Putting the Brakes on the Breaks

The Sunday Herald reports that the SNP Scottish Government is abandoning its manifesto pledge to provide Irish-style tax breaks for artists, musicians and writers and, instead, conducting a substantial review of arts funding in Scotland. It's hardly a surprise that it should ditch the tax plans: the Scottish Parliament doesn't have the powers to implement them anyway and it was always extremely unlikely that the UK Government would enable such a scheme to proceed.

With the bill to merge the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen into Creative Scotland going through the Scottish Parliament now, perhaps it's an opportune moment to review arts funding. Interesting that this news comes hot on the heels of the SAC's latest funding announcements, with significant cultural institutions, including Scottish Language Dictionaries and the Scots Language Centre, receiving none of its three-year "flexible funding". If the review results in more cash to go round, that would be welcome. We'll see what it comes up with.

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