Alderton, James and Fry Join Protest against Government Reading Tax
Celebrated literary personalities Dolly Alderton, Stephen Fry and E L James have signed a letter calling on the government to remove VAT on digital publications.
The said letter was collectively signed by more than 600 authors and publishers. The signatories included the likes of Paula Hawkins, Cressida Cowell, Jackie Morris and Francesca Simon to name but a few. Aside from authors, trade bodies have also expressed their support for the campaign.
These organizations include The National Literacy Trust, The Society of Authors, The Authors Licensing & Collecting Society and BookTrust.
The letter ran in the Sunday Times, and it contained an endorsement for the Axe the Reading Tax campaign. The campaign claims that the 20% reading tax predominantly affected people from low income backgrounds. It calls for the removal of VAT on all digital publications which includes eBooks, audiobooks, research journals, textbooks, and educational materials.
The letter stated that printed publications have always been zero-rated, but their digital publications are subject to 20% VAT. This is illogical and unfair, because not everyone could afford to buy physical copies, and to tax digital copies, would make it difficult for young readers of low-income backgrounds to read and experience the joys of reading.