Konnie Huq and 90 MPs call for end to ‘reading tax’ in UK

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From The Guardian:

Children’s laureate Cressida Cowell and former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq have joined 90 MPs calling on the government to scrap the “reading tax” on ebooks and audiobooks.

Huq, who is now a children’s author, led a delegation to the chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid at his Downing Street residence on Thursday to deliver a letter signed by the MPs. In it, they demand the government “end the unfair tax on learning by zero-rating VAT on e-publications”.

Readers currently pay 20% VAT on all digital books, including ebooks and audiobooks. Print books have been zero-rated since VAT was introduced in 1973, “on the general principle of avoiding a tax on knowledge”. Campaigners against the digital book tax argue that it unfairly affects readers living with sight loss and disabilities, who may rely on the technology.

. . . .

“The government rightly does not apply VAT to printed books, newspapers and magazines, acknowledging the intrinsic value of reading and knowledge and the importance of the accessibility of these materials,” write the MPs, who include former cabinet ministers Penny Mordaunt, David Mundell and Stephen Crabb, and former leader of the House of Commons, Mel Stride. “However, as consumers embrace the benefits of digital technology, more readers are unfairly penalised for the format they favour. This anomaly must end.”

On Thursday, Huq said: “It is fantastic to be in Downing Street to fight to remove the unfair tax on those who need to read digitally. As both an author and a mum I know how important it is for children to grow up reading, regardless of whether this is on paper or screen.”

Link to the rest at The Guardian

3 thoughts on “Konnie Huq and 90 MPs call for end to ‘reading tax’ in UK”

  1. Live by the taxman, die by the taxman.

    The tax wasn’t meant to harm children or the disabled, it was meant to favor the old time trad publishers paper selling scam and punish the upstart epubs.

    Here in the US I pay $2.15 a gallon for gas in Kentucky, yet the price my brother pays in CA is $6.27 due to taxes and regulation.

    Same concept, favoritism in gov’t policy always harms the less fortunate.

    • Your brother is getting ripped off. I paid $4.15 this morning. The extra $2.00 is worth it to not have to live in Kentucky.

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