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Ivan Lewis, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said:

"Labour welcomes any credible strategy which seeks to increase philanthropic and corporate investment in the arts, including the concept of matched funding. However, yesterday’s announcement is all spin and no substance. There is little or no new money and a clear absence of Treasury support. 2011 will be the year of cuts not the year of philanthropy.

These proposals will do nothing to protect arts organisations from the disproportionate cuts they face over the next few years and fail to address the crisis facing the regions. Jeremy Hunt himself admitted that he will be a grandpa before the measures take effect, but in the real world his cuts are hitting now and will cause long term damage.

Philanthropists have made it clear that it is not their job to replace Government funding but to build on the foundation of public investment. Their vision of the big society is in conflict with a Coalition which expects them to fill the gap left by Government.

Jeremy Hunt and his colleagues do not live in the real world. Despite their pre election charm offensive they are the same old Tories".

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