Post-rock band 65daysofstatic have accused the government of treating musicians as "fig leaves" after they were included in a funding scheme to help promote British music abroad.
The instrumental group from Sheffield said that while they "appreciate" receiving the funding under the government's Music Export Growth Scheme with the help of British Phonographic Industry (BPI) along with 18 other acts, the band criticised the "hyper-Dickensian, f*****g nightmare" Tory government for "destroying" the country's art scene in the first place.
The latest round of funding was announced by the government on 4 July in a bid to help UK acts such as 65daysofstatic achieve recognition across the globe by helping to fund tours.
The bands included in the scheme, including BBC Sound of 2015-nominated acts Lapsley and SOAK, received between £8,000 and £15,000 to help fund "overseas marketing, session musicians, tour support, booking agents and other expert services in the territories that the artists hope to tour".
Announcing the move, business secretary Sajid Javid said: "Music is a defining part of British culture, from the British Invasion in the 1960s to 1990s Britpop. I joined the music faithful at this year's Glastonbury, witnessing first hand our country's musical talent and the passion of festival-goers come rain or shine.
"Through the Music Export Growth Scheme, the government is banging the drum for the UK's fledgling music stars and promoting the UK's world-class sound in overseas markets. The scheme highlights the strength of the UK's creative industries and the benefits they deliver to the UK economy."
However, in a scathing attack published on their website, 65daysofstatic said the funding is not evidence of a government which is supporting the arts in the UK when it is in fact "destroying the conditions where it can even survive, never mind thrive".
The group added: "The idea of 65daysofstatic being held up in any way as evidence that this hyper-Dickensian, f*****g nightmare of a Tory government is apparently supporting the arts, when in actual fact they are destroying any kind of infrastructure for future creativity at the grassroots level and plunging the most vulnerable parts of society into further misery, leaves a bad taste in our mouths.
"The government helping us get to a hypothetical America is not, in and of itself, a bad thing, and we are genuinely grateful to the people we work with who put the proposal together for us and grateful to whoever in the BPI decided to send some of that cash our way, however conditional it might be.
"But even if 'economic growth' is the primary mandate for the future responsibilities of music, then this isn't the way to do it.
"Stop closing community centres. Stop destroying the welfare state. Stop making it impossible for poorer people to have any opportunity to do anything other than constantly struggle for survival, leaving holes in culture that will inevitably be filled by rich kids with nothing to write about. Holding up bands like us as fig leaves is not going to disguise the fact that this government is not even a fig tree; it's an army of termites in the shape of a tree, eating it alive."
The government said the scheme has so far shown support to 89 independent music companies across Britain. According to estimated figures from BPI, this has generated an approximate return on investment of £8.50 for every £1 invested.