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P.D. James calls for PLR funding protection

10th September 2010

Crime writer P.D. James has called on culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to protect funding for the Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme.

James, who is the president of the Society of Authors, claims thousands of writers feel 'great anxiety' that the scheme, which awards them money when their books are loaned from a library, will be cut as the government looks to reduce public spending.

In a letter to the politician, the writer said: 'Authors greatly value the modest income they receive when their books are read by library users free of charge. Many writers whose books are no longer in print rely on their annual PLR payments which they see as a form of pensions.'

Under the PLR, writers receive six pence each time one of their books is loaned, up to a maximum of GBP 6,600 per author. Over the last three years, its government budget allocation has been cut by three per cent.

The Society of Authors, the Royal Society of Literature and the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society have launched a petition demanding that the PLR funding is maintained.

More than 4,450 people have already signed, including Seamus Heaney, Jacqueline Wilson, Ali Smith, A.S. Byatt, Hilary Mantel and Sebastian Faulks.
 

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