Rossendale Free Press - - Your Views -

I RE­FER to Jake Berry’s re­ported com­ments re­gard­ing “sub­sidy ad­dicted artists”. It is a cu­ri­ous re­mark about groups who ap­ply for fund­ing of projects to pri­vate and pub­lic or­gan­i­sa­tions. In many cases this is the only in­come on which they can sur­vive.

His ire ap­pears to be aimed at a group of artists in the north east. But there are many lo­cal so­ci­eties and char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions who find it nec­es­sary to ap­ply for funds (sub­si­dies as he calls them), in or­der to sur­vive, such as: the scouts, Mind, Can­cer Re­search, and so­cial en­ter­prises, to name a few. Would he ac­cuse them of be­ing sub­sidy ad­dicted?

In­deed, some ex­cep­tion­ally rich landown­ers, many of whom sup­port his party, gain sig­nif­i­cant sub­si­dies in the form of tax re­lief. Would he de­clare them to be sub­sidy ad­dicted?

It is a sim­ple fact that, ow­ing to the cuts in pub­lic spend­ing, re­source­ful groups are given no op­tion but to em­ploy this method of sup­port in or­der to achieve their goals.

I be­lieve his com­ments to be of a cava­lier and pop­ulist nature, en­tirely in­ap­pro­pri­ate for an elected mem­ber, es­pe­cially for a Min­is­ter of The Crown, al­beit a ju­nior one. MF Cruise via email

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