Axe the Reading Tax campaign: an update

11 November 2019

On 31 October 2019, representatives from the Axe the Reading Tax campaign including Konnie Huq, children’s presenter and author; Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association; and Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, delivered a letter calling for the Chancellor to axe the levying of VAT on ebooks, in line with the 0% tax on printed books.

ALCS is pleased to be a supporter of this campaign and will continue to lobby for the elimination of VAT on all digital publications.

Barbara Hayes, Deputy CEO of ALCS, said of the campaign: “In an increasingly digital age, ebooks and other electronic publication formats have become more popular and more accessible to readers, which is why it’s essential that VAT on digital works should be zero-rated to match their printed counterparts. We wholly support the Axe the Reading Tax campaign and urge the Government to take action to tackle this imbalance.”

The premise of this campaign is also a government recommendation of the All Party Writers Group (APWG), agreed as a result of its inquiry into authors’ earnings which was called for after the release of the 2018 ALCS-funded authors’ earnings survey. You can find details of this key recommendation, along with the other recommendations that arose from the APWG inquiry, here.

We’ll keep members updated as to the progress of this important campaign when the new government is in place.

Find out more about the Axe the Reading Tax campaign here.