§ Mr. Fabricant
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much, in current prices, the Government spent on the arts in(a) 1978–79 and (b) 1996–97. 
§ Mr. Fisher
[holding answer 28 July 1997]: Central Government funding of the arts in Great Britain in 1978–79, provided through the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Crafts Council and the British Film Institute, amounted to £55.1 million. This is equivalent to £172.6 million in current prices, based on the latest assumptions of the gross domestic product deflators.
In 1996–97, central Government funding of the arts in Great Britain, provided through the Arts Council of England, of Scotland and of Wales; the Crafts Council; the British Film Institute and the national heritage arts sponsorship scheme, amounted to £252.3 million. Full details are given in the following table.
There are also other sources of arts funding generated through Government expenditure: either directly, such as through local authorities and the BBC or indirectly, such as through European spending programmes. However, complexities of definition and insufficient data make it difficult to provide reliable funding figures.