Don’t use tax system to back arts, say FDs.

More than half of FDs do not think the government should use the tax system to encourage business sponsorship of the arts.

Findings in this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Personnel Big Question survey have revealed 52%, do not support the idea, with a further 15% of the 440 respondents remaining undecided.

Corporate sponsorship now provides the arts sector with more than half its revenue, as big corporate players look to link their brand with events with the right profile.

Corporate investment in the arts is now valued at #141m a year, up 23% against the previous year – compared to #57.1m at the start of the 90s.

Many of the respondents believed there were far more deserving causes such as the NHS or schools, with the arts only used by a minority.

The result follows a Big Question earlier this month which found six out of 10 FDs thought the Millennium Dome should close due to finance problems. The Dome was last week host to Danielle Brown, sister of Spice Girl Mel B, pictured above with South African dance group Shikisha at the launch of a Cancer Research campaign, the official charity for the Notting Hill Carnival.

Tony Leaver of the Elizabeth Finn Trust, said: ‘The tax system is there to raise government expenditure. Arts should be sponsored by volunteers not the taxpayer’.

Some FDs however pointed to the tax relief companies would receive. Ed Budgen of Thornycroft, added: ‘Because so many companies nowadays are IT and dot.coms, the arts are becoming forgotten’.

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