Osborne’s pledge that we’ll be back in the black by 2018/19 raises the obvious question of why it has taken him so much longer than promised to cut the deficit. The Chancellor might want to take a look at DCLG, where ministers have set aside £230,000 for a series of music events aimed at promoting diversity, multiculturalism and community cohesion. The ‘Our Big Gig’ project is spending the money on among other things helping wannabe singers get noticed in Bradford, “bringing together different communities” with a percussion workshop in Tower Hamlets, and the services of MC and poet Lazy Hammock in Westminster. “Artist expenses” for professional musicians are covered by the taxpayer-funded grant.
DCLG tells Guido:
“Ministers have agreed to provide up to £230,000 to Superact, a not for profit arts organisation, to deliver Our Big Gig 2014. The aim of the project is to break down cultural barriers, foster community spirit and create more integrated neighbourhoods by encouraging participation from a diverse range of musical genres and attendance from a wide range of backgrounds.”
Austerity? What austerity?
UPDATE: Sources close to Eric Pickles’ lunchbox:
“It was a Liberal Democrat policy. Welcome to Coalition.”