Statement on PLR by Authors
The Public Lending Right scheme, under which authors receive 6p when a book is borrowed from a public library, is funded by the Department for Culture Media and Sport. Over the last three years, while public spending has been buoyant, PLR’s allocation has fallen by 3%: over 10% in real terms.
While accepting that DCMS has been instructed to reduce its budget, we ask the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, to recognise that the £7.5m spent on PLR gives effect to a legal right and is not a subsidy. It provides working writers with a modest income when their books are read by library users free of charge. PLR is particularly important to authors whose books are sold mainly to libraries and to those whose books are no longer in print but are still being used.
Press coverage tends to focus on a few successful authors, yet most struggle to make ends meet. PLR provides a significant and much-valued part of authors’ incomes. The £6,600 upper limit ensures that the fund helps those most in need.
The admirably efficient PLR Office has already cut its running costs very substantially. Any reduction in PLR will have an immediate and detrimental effect on the ‘front line’ payments to authors.
How you can help
This petition will be shared with both the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt as well as with Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture at the end of the summer. Ed, a former Secretary of the All Party Writers Group, is a keen supporter of PLR. So please don’t delay and sign your name to this statement now.
Who should sign?
Any and all writers who feel strongly about this subject, regardless of your location.