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Konnie Huq Presents Letter To The Chancellor to Axe the Reading Tax

Former Blue Peter presenter and children’s author Konnie Huq led a delegation to 11 Downing Street to hand-in a letter signed by 90 MPs calling for VAT on digital books to be scrapped, alongside representatives from leading literacy and accessibility charities. RNIB, the National Literacy Trust, the Publishers Association, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, and Andrew Lewer MP joined Konnie to present the letter, signed by almost 100 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum.


Konnie Huq said: “It is fantastic to be in Downing Street today 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.”


Author and Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell said: “I'm proud to support the Axe the Reading Tax campaign. I hope the Government sees sense and gets rid of the tax on eBooks and audiobooks as soon as it can. Taxing reading makes no sense, especially when it is being felt by those with disabilities and children just starting to understand the joy of reading.”


Read more about our trip to Downing Street in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/31/konnie-huq-and-90-mps-call-for-end-to-reading-tax-in-uk



You can read the letter sent to the Chancellor below, including all the MPs who have signed.



The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

No11 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA


Dear Chancellor,


We call on you to end the unfair tax on learning by zero-rating VAT on e-publications.

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.


However, as consumers embrace the benefits of digital technology, more readers are unfairly penalised for the format they favour. This anomaly must end.


Please Axe the Reading Tax to show that this Government is committed to equal access to reading for all.


Yours sincerely,


1. Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP (Conservative, Harlow)

2. Rt Hon Mel Stride MP (Conservative, Central Devon)

3. Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP (Conservative, Hemel Hempstead)

4. Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP (Conservative, Portsmouth North)

5. Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP (Conservative, Maldon)

6. Rt Hon David Mundell MP (Conservative, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)

7. Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP (Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire)

8. Rt Hon Sir Roger Gale MP (Conservative, North Thanet)

9. Alex Chalk MP (Conservative, Cheltenham)

10. Andrew Bridgen MP (Conservative, North West Leicestershire)

11. Andrew Lewer MP (Conservative, Northampton South)

12. Anne Marie Morris MP (Conservative, Newton Abbot)

13. Ben Bradley MP (Conservative, Mansfield)

14. Bill Grant MP (Conservative, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)

15. Bob Blackman MP (Conservative, Harrow East)

16. Sir David Amess MP (Conservative, Southend West)

17. David Warburton MP (Conservative, Somerton and Frome)

18. Eddie Hughes MP (Conservative, Walsall North)

19. Giles Watling MP (Conservative, Clacton)

20. Glyn Davies MP (Conservative, Montgomeryshire)

21. Gordon Henderson MP (Conservative, Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

22. Henry Smith MP (Conservative, Crawley)

23. Jack Brereton MP (Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent South)

24. Jeremy Lefroy MP (Conservative, Stafford)

25. John Lamont MP (Conservative, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

26. Marcus Fysh MP (Conservative, Yeovil)

27. Mark Menzies MP (Conservative, Fylde)

28. Mark Pritchard MP (Conservative, The Wrekin)

29. Martin Vickers (Conservative, Cleethorpes)

30. Michael Tomlinson MP (Conservative, Mid Dorset and North Poole

31. Neil Parish MP (Conservative, Tiverton and Honiton)

32. Nigel Mills MP (Conservative, Amber Valley)

33. Paul Masterton MP (Conservative, East Renfrewshire)

34. Paul Scully MP (Conservative, Sutton and Cheam)

35. Pauline Latham MP (Conservative, Mid Derbyshire)

36. Peter Aldous MP (Conservative, Waveney)

37. Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Conservative, Worthing West)

38. Scott Mann MP (Conservative, North Cornwall)

39. Stephen Kerr MP (Conservative, Stirling)

40. Steve Double MP (Conservative, St Austell and Newquay)

41. Tom Tugendhat MP (Conservative, Tonbridge and Malling)

42. Vicky Ford MP (Conservative, Chelmsford)

43. Victoria Prentis MP (Conservative, Banbury)

44. Viscount Ridley DL (Conservative)

45. Rt Hon Lord Mackay of Clashfern KT (Conservative)

46. Rt Hon Lord Randall of Uxbridge (Conservative)

47. Afzal Khan MP (Labour, Manchester Gorton)

48. Andrew Slaughter MP (Labour, Hammersmith)

49. Chris Evans MP (Labour Co-op, Islwyn)

50. Chris Ruane MP (Labour, Vale of Clwyd)

51. Eleanor Smith MP (Labour, Wolverhampton South West)

52. Sir George Howarth MP (Labour, Knowsley)

53. Gill Furniss MP (Labour, Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough)

54. Gordon Marsden MP (Labour, Blackpool South)

55. Grahame Morris MP (Labour, Easington)

56. Helen Hayes MP (Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood)

57. Mary Glindon MP (Labour, North Tyneside)

58. Nic Dakin MP (Labour, Scunthorpe)

59. Paul Sweeney MP (Labour Co-op, Glasgow North East)

60. Peter Kyle MP (Labour, Hove)

61. Phil Wilson MP (Labour, Sedgefield)

62. Preet Kaur Gill MP (Labour Co-op, Birmingham Edgbaston)

63. Roger Godsiff MP (Labour, Birmingham Hall Green)

64. Rosie Cooper MP (Labour, West Lancashire)

65. Ruth Jones MP (Labour, Newport West)

66. Steve McCabe MP (Labour, Birmingham Selly Oak)

67. Tonia Antoniazzi MP (Labour, Gower)

68. Virendra Sharma MP (Labour, Ealing Southall)

69. Rt Hon Baroness Blackstone (Labour Independent)

70. Baroness Rebuck DBE (Labour)

71. Alison Thewlis MP (Scottish National Party, Glasgow Central)

72. Carol Monaghan MP (Scottish National Party, Glasgow North West)

73. Stephen Gethins MP (Scottish National Party, North East Fife)

74. Dr Lisa Cameron MP (Scottish National Party, East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

75. Martyn Day MP (Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

76. Patricia Gibson MP (Scottish National Party, North Ayrshire and Arran)

77. Jo Swinson MP (Liberal Democrat, East Dunbartonshire)

78. Angela Smith MP (Liberal Democrat, Penistone and Stocksbridge)

79. Rt Hon Tom Brake MP (Liberal Democrat, Carshalton and Wallington)

80. Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer (Liberal Democrat)

81. Lord Addington (Liberal Democrat)

82. Lord Clement-Jones CBE (Liberal Democrat)

83. Rt Hon Lord Foster of Bath (Liberal Democrat)

84. Lord German OBE (Liberal Democrat)

85. Earl of Glasgow DL (Liberal Democrat)

86. Rt Hon Sammy Wilson MP (Democratic Unionist Party, East Antrim)

87. Caroline Lucas MP (Green Party, Brighton Pavilion)

88. Ian Austin MP (Independent, Dudley North)

89. Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench)

90. Lord Bird MBE (Crossbench)

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