Public Lending Body which administers library loan royalties for authors to be abolished

The Public Lending Rights (PLR) body, which has been administering the library-loan royalties scheme for authors has been named as one of the organisations to go in the government's culling of quangos. The PLR functions will be transferred to another body, as yet unnamed.

Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, has said that authors' library-loan royalties will continue but he also said: 'Spending Review decisions will determine the size of the author fund and an announcement outlining funding over the next four years will be made later this month.'

In a letter to the Society of Authors this morning, Vaizey sought to reassure worried authors, 'As a condition of the transfer we will require the [new] body to commit to ringfence the fund for making payments to authors.'

PLR registrar Dr Jim Knight said there would be 'no change' in the author payment system this year. 'We are going to operate the system to the end of March 2011. Over 2011-12 we will sort the details of transferring our functions to a new body,' he said, adding that 'a lot of detail' was still to be established about the transfer.

Mark Le Fanu, general secretary of the Society of Authors, said: 'The whole thing is totally unclear.'