Veteran actress Julie Walters has attacked the British government for slashing arts funding, insisting her career would have crashed without the help of cash handouts.

The Harry Potter star got her big break opposite Sir Michael Caine in 1983's Educating Rita but was only able to complete her drama training with the help of government funding.

She has now taken aim at British Prime Minister David Cameron for heading up a series of cuts to arts funding in her native country, including slashing the Arts Council England's budget by almost 30 per cent and closing down the UK Film Council.

Walters tells The Guardian newspaper, "If I was coming into the business now I would never get into drama school. It would have been a really hard journey, if I had ever made it at all, because there are no grants for them, it is really, really difficult... the government could change its policies."