Government spends nearly £100,000 on Downing Street art
Fingerpainting art just isn't good enough for Downing Street
From the outlandish Downing Street renovations to a brand new Yacht currently in its planning stage, the Tory government seems obsessed with spending unnecessary amounts of money on what most would consider luxury goods. The latest expenditure is reportedly two sets of artwork that amount to almost £100,000 of taxpayer money.
Bought from the Xavier Hufkens gallery in Brussels, the first painting by Belfast-born artist Cathy Wilkes is worth £70,200. Similarly, a set of photographs from photographer Willie Doherty was bought for £18,775.
While most parents would simply hang their kid's macaroni art on the wall, Prime Minister Boris Johnson clearly has a higher taste level. The Mirror reported that civil servants splashed out £696,700 on new works for the Government Art Collection, compared to the £432,071 spent the year before.
This news comes after the government announced plans for a new yacht to allow the UK to "show itself off to the world." Former Tory chancellor Ken Clarke referred to it as “silly populist nonsense”.
“We need somewhere where the UK can show itself off to the world and attract investment and that will drive jobs and growth in the UK – not just in shipbuilding but across every sector of the UK,” he told LBC.
— Dame Susan Robinson (@hatetorycuts) August 9, 2021
"As his Government cuts Universal Credit and freezes frontline nurse/police pay, Johnson has found more money to treat himself. Again. He could not be more out of touch," tweeted Labour MP Neil Coyle.
People online are understandably angry:
"Why was 100k spent on art for downing street while many thousands live in poverty? Sort your priorities!" tweeted Bryan.
"This takes the biscuit. Police and teachers can't get a pay rise, but @BorisJohnson can do this! Are we just mugs? Government spends nearly £100,000 on art for Downing Street," says another angry user.
Downing Street was unable to say how much of the public's funds were spent on the collection, but they confirm that “philanthropic” donors gave the majority.