The Hatchet is Uncovered
Leaked Cabinet Office documents revealed today show, the National Museums and Galleries service, a publicly funded body, which offers the public free admission to some of the country’s best-known cultural venues, is under threat and likely to be scrapped by the Government. There are 16 galleries in this category — including the Tate Galleries the National Gallery, the Imperial War Museum, the V & A and the British Museum. They are all publicly funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and receive rebates of VAT in order to enable them to have free admission. The abolition of The Design Council, one of the oldest quangos, created in 1944 also looks likely. It receives £6.2million from taxpayers and appears high on the Government hit list. The hatchet is out and at least 70 more bodies will be lost as a result of mergers. The 129 bodies that will be either merged or consolidated include a number of Heritage groups – English Heritage, the National Memorial Fund and the National Lottery Fund, which will come under one single heritage body. This goes hand and hand with action to abolish the UK Film Council set to merge with the British film Institute. It is also noted that the Film Industry Training Board, the Construction and Skills Training Board, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board and the Tote Board – will be privatised.