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Subsidy goes mostly to the rich. Thanks to austerity.

Dutch museums do not pay for the art they present. Cable companies stick money from writers in their own pockets. Spreading new journalism platforms without permission and without paying the work of small independents. Libraries are closing down, and are being replaced by private libraries or school libraries. As a result, writers of adult literature and especially children's books no longer have income from lending rights fees and performances. Artists may use their meagre income from art no longer supplement with a few hours teaching at an art school. Music schools close and make way for private teachers who will teach your child to play the trumpet for a pittance.

Long live the subsidy

All this is done with government consent and financial support: Dutch museums run on government subsidies. Cable companies have made a pact with the public broadcaster, subsidised by the government, to cable subscription revenue no longer share with television programme writers. The multi-million taxpayer-funded Press incentive fund subsidises the initiative Blendle, with publishers being its creators have put pressure on not to give a penny to the journalists who generate 70 per cent of their revenue.

"With every innovation there are casualties, and this time it is the independent writers", according to the NVJ, when asked, was the laconic answer from the management of the heavily gsubsidised Stimulation Fund. In selling their company, the boards of Ziggo and UPC catch more than 50 million bonus each, while in 2012, after 25 years, they stopped paying out a few million euros a year in cable money to writers, who could just barely make ends meet.

Government sets the tone

Meanwhile, there are no more incidents. When a previous cabinet cut 200 million euros from the arts budget, complaining artists were referred to private funders and the business community. Those parties have not been able to repair the damage. Indeed, it is now clear that the business community in particular is also making extreme cuts in art spending, to the detriment of creators. Galleries in the Netherlands, which often act as intermediaries for art purchases by large and small companies, are turning a loss.

Yet all these creators themselves appear to continue working relentlessly. Journalists bravely type their free pieces where only publishers earning big bucks. So despite the cuts, the Netherlands still has art and still has newspapers. The signal the government has sent to the country is clear: you don't have to pay for hobbyists and creativity is hobby. We don't mind if others get rich off it.

It's called entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, cultural and creative entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are divided to the bone. At stake are the young entrepreneurs who are being hoodwinked by the newly rich because working for free would be good for their reputation. Website The PostOnline is an example of this, but in the musical world too, monthly salaries of 1,500 euros gross for 7-day working weeks are no exception. Those who complain get their entrepreneurial colleagues all over them: complaining is for sissies. You just have to grit your teeth and persevere, so that one day you yourself will rule the world.

Next weekend during the Holland Festival premiered the stage adaptation of The Fountainhead in Amsterdam. The Fountainhead is hhe book By Ayn Rand from 1943 describing this problem from a neoconservative perspective. There are no cards more.

17 thoughts on “Subsidie gaat vooral naar de rijken. Dankzij de bezuinigingen.”

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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