As things stand, core national funding for arts and culture has already reduced by over £100million (more than a third) since 2009. On top of that, Local Authorities - historically a significant funder of arts and culture outside London - have seen 40% cuts. Local Government Association modeling predicts funding for non-statutory services (like culture) will be down by 66% by the end of the decade.
Of course we could use more money - we had far more applicants to our National portfolio than we could afford to support. Yes, there is more to do in terms of the balance of the Arts Council's investment and yes, progress is slow - but it is purposeful and targeted. Overall investment outside London has actually increased in this National portfolio round.
Arts funding is essential in keeping art accessible and affordable for everyone. It is essential in providing young people safe spaces in their communities. It is essential in providing economic and cultural assets to towns. It is essential in ensuring our cultural climate is diverse, fresh and exciting. Art should not be dull or inaccessible and enjoying art should not be expensive - and without sufficient funding, it will inevitably become these things.
Osborne didn't need to genuflect towards the House of Mouse, because the UK has a well-deserved reputation as the home of high quality cinema and moviemaking. But for how long? Osborne is at the top of a government that has slashed arts funding to the bone, axed the UK Film Council and is generally doing a great deal of damage in the cultural arena.
Since the start of the economic downturn and change in government, our voluntary community dance programme has struggled to find funds. Most of the money available is going to large organisations, in the expectation that it will then be filtered out into the community and into smaller delivery projects like ours - but this isn't working.
If I could have one Christmas wish, it would be for our politicians to stop being too embarrassed to stand by culture and support it for fear of being branded 'elitist'. The Arts are for everyone, and nothing embodies this better than the volunteers who worked tirelessly to create the opening ceremony this summer.
Round the back of London's South Bank, something important is hidden away. It's within easy walk of a currently rammed Olympic transport hub, but unlike London Bridge, there's no one in a purple and orange overall to offer helpful and insistent directions. In fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking there'd been something of a cover up.