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Sir Tom Stoppard to push for London Library fees increase

13th July 2010

Sir Tom Stoppard is planning an increase in subscription fees for the London Library, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The playwright, who is president of the St James's library that doubles as the workplace for many of the country's leading authors, is planning to raise fees by 13 per cent.

This follows hot on the heels of the widely contested 80 per cent increase which occurred in 2008, with the new move expected to attract further criticism.

Bill Emmott, the chairman of the library, defended Stoppard, telling the newspaper that the increase in fees is absolutely necessary.

Emmott claimed that a GBP 300,000 shortfall in funding as a result of HM Revenue & Customs' withdrawal of Gift Aid relief was responsible for the decision to drive up subscription costs.

He said: 'We took legal advice. Only a change in the law could restore this relief and that is unlikely in the current climate of fiscal austerity.'

Last month Stoppard told the Guardian that modern technology is starting to eclipse the world of literature, warning that the moving image is superseding the printed word.

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