Government plans to cut spending on the arts and culture will lead to a 20% increase in ticket prices and the loss of 3,000 jobs, the national arts council said in a report on Friday.
The council was commissioned by culture minister Halbe Zijlstra to look at how spending can be cut by €125m a year from 2013 – on top of the €75m in savings he has already pushed through.
In its recommendations, the council says the cuts are so severe that they should be phased in more gradually, starting with €72m in 2013.
In total, subsidies for the visual arts and orchestras should be cut by one third while the performing arts, museums, libraries and films should get 25% less funding.
The council does not name any actual institutions which will be forced to close but says many will disappear or merge. In particular, town and city-based theatre groups will merge into regional operations, along with youth theatres.
Spending on the Nederlandse Opera will go down from €24m to €19m and the future of the Travelling Opera and Opera Zuid remains in question, the Volkskrant says in its coverage of the report.
Value added tax
The government has already put up value added tax on theatre tickets from 6% to 19% in July, the start of the new season.
Cinema, circuses and sports events still fall under the 6% tax rate.
The planned cuts in arts spending were widely condemned when they were first announced in October. And Zijlstra was heavily criticised in January when he said the public rather than experts would decide what is ‘good art’.
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