Thank you for contacting me about the Public Lending Right (PLR). I note there is an ongoing campaign calling for the PLR central fund to be increased.
Let me start by saying I wholeheartedly support the tremendous work of writers. They enhance the UK’s rich culture and provide us with fantastic resources for entertainment, education and research.
I understand that there are no current plans to increase the overall amount of the PLR central fund in response to the Covid-19 outbreak or more generally. The British Library administers the PLR Scheme on behalf of the Government and the funding level of the PLR would form part of the consideration of the British Library’s overall funding at a future Spending Review.
Throughout the pandemic, freelance writers have been supported through a variety of Government schemes. The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which was extended at the 2021 Budget to cover individuals who filed a 2019-20 Self-Assessment tax return (making 600,000 people newly eligible), supported those who lost income during the pandemic with five grants worth up to £7,500 over a three-month period. Furthermore, the £20-a-week temporary uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits provided additional support to those most likely be have faced financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency, including writers.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP