The arts have suffered from being welfare-dependent. Between 1950 and 1994 public expenditure on the arts in Britain increased twentyfold in real terms. In contrast, public expenditure as a whole merely (!) trebled. By 1996, each seat in the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden was being subsidized to the tune of £28. As Dominic Hobson points out in the National Wealth: 'All too often the quality of subsidized art is low, the cost of producing it is high, and the prices charged to consumers are excessive.'