I earn very, very little from my books - significantly less than the average wage. I am not signed up for the unemployment benefit or any other benefit. I don't receive government funding. I do receive the public lending right which acknowledges that less of my books may be sold as people borrow them from the library. I am not a leech on society. I am a contributor. I pay tax. Authors might justifiably express concern about the loss of such awards because there is little enough money coming their way as it is. Publishers as far as I know are not rolling in an excess of dosh that they can afford to present as prizes. It would be awkward to expect them to be unbiased toward books published by other companies. In any event they tend to spend their money on publishing more books which is their primary function.
Why am I so concerned about something happening across the ditch? Its not like I could have ever won these awards. I'm concerned because societies learn from other societies, and often follow the same path. Because I am interested in the lives of others. Because I support authors everywhere who care about their craft. Because we are close neighbours who are already similar in so many ways. Because I want to learn about what happens there so I can fight against it happening here. Authors aren't ripping off the system, they are just trying to do what they do best. Shouldn't we all be striving for excellence rather than mediocrity?