Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Paying our own way

The parliament has passed a bill in which 5% of advertising revenue will be levied for support of culture. We already have a tax levied to support universities (which is not all used for this purpose). We also have a tax on liquor and cigarettes to support youth activities, and a tax on land deeds to support the disabled. MP's are also studying levying a tax on mobile phone bills to subsidize livestock feed.

So, in the end we will end up paying the regular taxes simply for the privilege of having a government. A wise use of resources indeed.


At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The challenge is what do you do with the money, how do you ensure good results to eventually gain buy in?

One tiny example of waste: a couple years ago a JD10mln culture fund was announced. Today, Min of Culture says the previous admin spent JD6mln on a building (just a shell, no programs, people nor passion inside yet), and the remaining JD4mln is frozen. So basically the Min of Cult was busy in construction rather than building culture. While existing public sector produced cultural products are so pathetic and insulting in truth.

The outcry should be that public culture spend has zero successful track record, common sense and business sense says don't give them any more money till we fix this!!

I think money is easy and can be justified thru taxing this to pay for that, but we need to deliver effectively for a change.

Culture is an extremely specialized industry, growing exponentially all over the world today, while our gov does not have a single cultural industry developer, producer, nor curator in the public sector.

It takes so much more than money!!

The outcry from others should demand proof and accountability to: what will be done with the money, and how do we measure? If there are success stories, other industries who benefit will be supportive.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

A wise use indeed!

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

ArabianMonkey: I agree on both counts. The assumption that the government should be involved in funding culture and that it will spend the money well are both tenuous. I suspect that if most government spending is scrutinized we would come to the same result.

Muhannad :)

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just out of curiousity and not being familiar with your govt. set up, when you say govt. who do you blame for all of that?


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