February 10, 2020

“Scrap VAT on e-books” suggest Stephen Fry and E.L. James

Fifty Shades Of Grey author E.L. James and actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry are among 700 prominent writers asking the UK Finance Minister to eliminate VAT on e-books.

Books and newspapers have been VAT exempt since 1973. The writers are afraid the current 20% VAT rate on e-books stops “young readers, those from low income backgrounds, and those who struggle to read print from experiencing the joys of reading”.

A letter outlining this request, signed by E.L and Steven, former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo, The Girl On The Train author Paula Hawkins and Queen of Crime Val McDermid, was sent to the Sunday Times.

A few excerpts from the letter read:

“Reading is one of the greatest pleasures there is. Books are a passport to other worlds, to other ways of life. They help people develop empathy, offer comfort, inspire and challenge.”

“It is vital that everybody can access the joy and opportunity of reading; regardless of their age, income or physical capability.”

“Young people are increasingly reading using phones, ereaders and audio devices. Digital formats can enable reluctant readers to engage with, and benefit from, books.”

“VAT is rightly not applied to print books and digital formats should be treated in the same way.”

Do you agree?


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