So, in response, here is my plan for the quality press. The country cannot afford the hidden subsidy of zero-rated VAT (a tax break not enjoyed by orchestras and concert-goers) to all four newspapers. On a notional quality newspaper (cost 50p, circulation 500,000) this costs the Exchequer about 9p per newspaper bought - pounds 45,000 a day, or about pounds 14m a year - enough to keep another Covent Garden afloat]
Selectively withdraw this subsidy from two newspapers. Overpriced, compared with the newspapers with the intact subsidy, their circulation would dwindle, the best people would leave, they would wither and die. This would leave two world-beating newspapers with enlarged circulation, able to attract the best journalistic talent and able, with a more captive audience, to be more adventurous. No more tired stale performances of 'Royal Family', which you trot out with more monotony than we do '1812'.
Royal Academy of Music
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