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Closing down DCMS could save £1.6bn

Closing down the Department of Culture, Media and Sport could save around £1.6bn (if all spending ceased). This would give the government the scope for tax cuts. For example:

·  It could then reduce the rate of corporation tax by a further 2%, to the same as the basic rate of income tax - 20p, at a cost of around £1.6bn.
·  It could cut fuel duty by 3p, at a cost of around £1.5bn.
·  It could go some way towards abolishing inheritance tax, which would cost around £2.7bn.
·  It could be used to part fund, the introduction of the married couples’ transferable tax allowance, this would cost
          around £3.2bn.

Stopping government funding of museums would save £0.5bn

The cost to the taxpayer per visit, per person, to the following museums, galleries and libraries is approximately:

·         National Museum of Science and Industry £13
·         British Library £72
·         Victoria and Albert Museum £15
·         Natural History Museum £9
·         Tate £5
·         British Museum £9

Commenting on the implications of closing down the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“If the government isn’t seriously considering closing down the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, then it should start doing so now. A major failure of its Comprehensive Spending Review was that it sought to salami slice areas of public expenditure, rather than to eliminate certain programmes entirely. The subsidies provided by DCMS should be ended altogether and any residual regulatory functions should be substantially liberalised and transferred to other departments.

“A complete closure of all DCMS functions could save the taxpayer around £1.6bn per annum. Whilst this is a small proportion of overall government expenditure, it would allow for some worthwhile reductions in overall taxation.”

Notes to editors

To arrange an interview, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Director, or 077 5171 7781.

The IEA released a report last year looking at a range of ways to reduce public spending, Sharper Axes, Lower Taxes: Big Steps to a Smaller State.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.


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