NEARLY 700 authors have joined forces to call on chancellor Sajid Javid to scrap VAT on e-books.
Writers — including Stephen Fry (pictured), Fifty Shades Of Grey author EL James and ‘Queen of Crime’ Val McDermid — claim the 20 per cent tax rate could stop ‘young readers, those on low incomes and those who struggle to read print from experiencing the joys of reading’.
In a letter, sent to The Sunday Times, they say: ‘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.
‘VAT is rightly not applied to print books and digital formats should be treated in the same way. They can enable reluctant readers to engage with, and benefit from, books.’
The letter marks the start of a campaign by the Publishers Association ahead of next month’s Budget.