IELTS Essay: Should governments provide financial assistance to artists?

The following question was asked on an IELTS writing test recently held in India and Kazakhstan.
Some people believe that the government should provide financial assistance to all artists including painters, musicians and poets. Others think that it is a waste of money. Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.

You can spend 40 minutes on this task. You must write at least 250 words.

Here is a model answer.
Whether the government should provide financial assistance to the country’s artists is an often debated topic. Some people believe that the government should help artists; others think that spending money on artists is akin to wasting the nation’s wealth. In this essay, we will take a look at both sides of the argument before arriving at a conclusion.

Art forms are an integral part of the nation’s cultural heritage. Some people believe that by helping artists the government can help protect the cultural legacy of the country. This argument is true to a certain extent. The advent of films and television has considerably affected the popularity of other art forms. It is a known fact that many ethnic art forms are now dying because of the lack of support. A little financial assistance is all that it takes to protect these art forms from total extinction.

Some people, on the other hand, argue that spending money on arts and artists is wasteful because there are several other sectors that desperately require government funding. For example, in many undeveloped and developing countries millions of people don’t have access to safe drinking water or electricity. Meeting these requirements is far more important than protecting the nation’s art forms from extinction.

After analyzing both sides of the argument, it is felt that government assistance to artists is justifiable only in countries that have successfully met all basic requirements of its people. In the case of undeveloped nations it makes better sense to spend public money on other pressing needs of the people.

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