Today we have discussed the great Crisis in the Arts and for a moment I wish to touch upon the position of the National Gallery, although, because of the lack of time, I shall not be able to discuss various other national institutions.
I deal next with the immediate issue, to which the Minister for the Arts referred in scathing terms as the Crisis in the Arts.
Will the Under-Secretary of State remind him that the Arts Crisis, the cataclysmic collapse in arts funding.
He said that there was a major Crisis in the Arts, yet there has not been.
The present genuine Crisis in the Arts is a parallel to the crisis facing Britain as a whole.
The hon. Gentleman went on to talk about abolition in a tone of gloom and doom, I recall that two years ago he mentioned a Crisis in the Arts.
There is a Crisis in the Arts throughout Britain.
What monitoring is being done to ensure that the Greater London arts association, which will have the greatest concentration of clients, will not inherit a Major Arts Crisis?
Is the Minister aware that about 200,000 jobs in London are dependent on the arts, entertainment and culture, and that there is an Arts Crisis in the capital city, brought about by the recession, the pressure on local authorities, and the derisory 2 per cent.
I wholly disagree with the hon. Gentleman's suggestion that there is a Crisis in the Arts in London.
When the Minister meets those concerned, will he at last take it from them that there is a Crisis in the Arts in London, and that it is a crisis caused by his Government's poll tax, which is taking more than £3 million away from community arts in London?