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.
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“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