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CILIP responds to Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP’s 2020 Budget Statement in the Commons

11 March 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nick Poole
CILIP responds to Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP’s 2020 Budget Statement in the Commons

While we welcome the withdrawal of VAT on e-books and the new investment in the British Library to support the expansion of their programmes, we are bitterly disappointed that the Chancellor has failed to respond to our call to bring an end to library austerity by restoring revenue funding to local public libraries.

Public libraries are an incredibly important part of daily life for millions of people. In addition to promoting literacy and reading, libraries enhance and extend formal education, help develop much-needed digital skills, support local businesses and provide a front-line for hard-pressed health and social care.

Since 2010, an estimated £243m has been cut from library budgets in real terms. This budget was an opportunity to repair the damage of 10 years of austerity and create opportunities for people from all walks of life, not just the privileged few. The Government’s failure to restore funding for local libraries makes a hollow mockery of their commitment to ‘level up’ communities across Britain.

We will now turn to putting forward the case for revenue funding for libraries in the forthcoming Governmental Spending Review. At the same time, we will now petition the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to lead a public inquiry into 10 years of the Government’s failure to superintend public libraries.

You can continue to support public libraries by signing up as a supporter at Libraries Deliver.

Published: 11 March 2020

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