It’s sad to see that the budget for Public Lending Right is being cut by the new Tory/LibDem government. It’s a worthwhile scheme that provides income to writers. OK, at six pence per loan it’s not a huge amount, but every little helps. It’s sad that having spent billions on wars and bank bailouts, the government suddenly finds that it needs to save money, and it’s things like libraries and arts funding that get cut. Mind you, they are still happy to spend £100 billion replacing a nuclear submarine that has never been used. But six pence per library loan? Sorry, too expensive.
Fortunately there are organisations out there gearing up for the fight, like the Society of Authors and Libraries for Life for Londoners. In the current climate it will be a tough fight, but I’m very grateful that they are doing it. Things like libraries tend not to be a high priority, but they are very important, and it’s not just the PLR that’s under threat. Book budgets have been slashed for years, and this will probably only get worse unless someone can convince the government to get its priorities straight.
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It’s yet another disgraceful cut from a government that has prioritised the rich and the powerful. Tp to 40% cuts in public services go hand in hand with the further introduction of strategies such as “free schools”, which will do everything to undermine education. It could well be a bleak decade if we let them get away with it.