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Eurovision Song Contest to be funded by £31m subsidy from taxpayers


As the cost of living crisis really bites, it has been revealed that the UK public will be forced to pay tens of millions of pounds in taxpayer money towards the Eurovision 'joke' event.

The Government confirmed this week that it will subsidise the event in Liverpool in May, with a direct £10m payment from income tax payers.

The BBC - itself funded by the public licence fee - will contribute up to £17million while local authorities in Merseyside have also pledged a further £4m in taxpayer funding.

It is believed to be the highest public contribution in the 67-year history of the contest.

Meanwhile the other 37 national broadcasters taking part will contribute an average of just £135,000 each.

Last year Italy hosted Eurovision at the PalaOlimpico in Turin, without any direct contribution from the Italian government.

The extraordinary sum British taxpayers are being asked to fork out is even more stark because this is the ninth time the UK has hosted the contest, a Eurovision record and three times more than Germany, Italy or France.

Officials said the money will be spent on operational costs like security and visas, as well as making sure the event "showcases Ukrainian culture".

Around 3,000 subsidised tickets to the song contest - costing £20 each - will also be made available for Ukrainians living in the UK.

The BBC's £17m contribution is a thought to be a record for a host broadcaster and comes at a time when the corporation is closing channels and axing programmes.

The BBC said further details on general release tickets would be issued in due course.