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Over 600 Authors call for an end to the unfair tax on digital readers

Over 600 Authors including Stephen Fry, Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell, Booker Prize Winner Bernadine Evaristo and former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq have called on the Chancellor to remove the unfair 20% tax on digital readers in the upcoming Budget on 11 March.


Read the letter below and the full story in The Sunday Times, the Metro and The Sun.


Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,


We are writing to you as authors and book lovers to ask that you remove the tax on ebooks and audiobooks that may prevent young readers, those from low income backgrounds, and those who struggle to read print from experiencing the joys of reading.


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.


Young people are increasingly reading using phones, ereaders and audio devices. Digital formats can enable reluctant readers to engage with, and benefit from, books. There are many people in the UK who are living with a visual impairment or a disability that prevents them from being able to use print books who are taxed unfairly by this policy.


For these reasons, we urge you to remove the 20% tax on digital reading. This will help to ensure that those people who prefer or need to read digitally have the same access to books – and all the pleasure and benefits that they bring – as everyone else.


Yours Sincerely,


Stephen Fry

Cressida Cowell

E L James

Paula Hawkins

Konnie Huq

Val McDermid

Joanne Harris

Ben Macintyre

Dolly Alderton

Jackie Morris

Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Bernardine Evaristo

Francesca Simon

Dan Freedman

Laurel Lindstrom

Carolyn Spring

Louise Hare

Elizabeth Laird

Victoria James

Sean Taylor

Eileen Hogg

Peter Trudgill

Holly Race

Mary Chamberlain

Natasha Mostert

Keith Souter

Kerry Cooper

Charlotte English

Linda M James

Kathleen Ellis

Judy Allen

Catherine Horwood

Keith Ridgway

Ian Dear

Alice Nuttall

Melanie Reinhart

Hilda Ross Rodger

Melvyn Fickling

Eloise Aston

Tom Cunliffe

Brian Clegg

Vesna Main

Lucinda Ganderton

James Edward Hoare

Jacky Colliss Harvey

Selma Dabbagh

Christine Jordan

Alison MacLeod

Lorna Read

Sean O'Brien

Jeanne Willis

Dave Shelton

Brenda Littlewood (JJ Franklin)

Sandra Smith

Wendy Turbin

Cassandra Clark

Louisa Young

Ignaty Dyakov

Rosalind Kerven

JS Rogers

Wendy Superfine

Patsy Trench

Mike Hogan

Sylvia Broady

Robert A. Gilbert

A C Kay

Steffie Shields

Caitlín Matthews

Hugh D. R Baker

Marjorie Forbes Eldridge

Michael W. Thomas

Ally Sherrick

Paul Levy

AJ Waines

Robyn Marsack

Lou Treleaven

Elizabeth Lindsay

Dave Cousins

Leye Adenle

Bonnie Shaljean

Julian Edge

Nicola Stevens

Nicholas Tims

Gillian Hovell

Caroline Davies

Margaret Silf

Miriam Moss

Paul Gitsham

Susan Koten

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Penny Kline

Elaine M Chambers

Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith

Mary Green

Sarah Thomas

Susan Traill

Dr Toni Bunnell

Adriana Diaz Enciso

Rohase Piercy

Frances Lynn

Deborah Moggach

J. A. Bosworth

Mary Wilkinson (Mary Chapman)

Nabil Shaban

Cathy Cole

Looman

Todd Kingsley-Jones

Peter Raynard

Annette Hogan

Professor John Radford

Michael Occleshaw

Arthur Hughes

Judith Amanthis

Wendy Constance

Peter Williams

Alison Latham

Karen Kingston

Sheila Wainwright Baines

Dr Maurice Hindle

Laura Broadbent

Prudence Jones

Jane Taylor

Judith Arnopp

Dr Miriam Frank

Bill Higgins

John Harris

Despina Katsirea

Janet MacLeod Trotter

Nadine Meisner

David Roberts

Richard Thomas

Robert Mackenzie Carmichael

Sonia Jackson

Sue Moorcroft

Niki Mackay

Emma Robinson

John C Jackson

Anne Coates

Susan Allott

Charlotte Levin

Lizzie Chantree

Betsy Tobin

Piers Torday

Samantha Bacchus (Sam Carrington)

Sharon Maas

Audrey Harrison

Susanna Beard

Tony Grice

Susan Fortin

Katie Ginger

Linda Allsopp

Sandra Platt (Cass Grafton)

Clare Weze

Pen Kease

Julie Pryke

Carol Thompson

Stuart Condie

Sandra Mackness

Faith Bleasdale

Nicola Mostyn

John Pilkington

Jacqueline Ward

Emily Midorikawa

Carol Howland

Kathleen McGurl

Michael Allaby

Shena Mackay

Ruth Brandon

Helen Barrell

Lucy Felthouse

Jane Lacey-Crane

Christine Hewitt

Alison Belsham

Gemma Rogers

Julie Sykes

Janice Horton

Lindsey Davis

Ros Rendle

Jan Jones

Anne Allen

Glynis Smy (Glynis Peters)

Lucia Graves

Katie Hale

Julie Stock

Dr Julia Ibbotson

Alison Rose Knight

Vivien Brown

Steve Buckledee

Keith Giles

Jane Rogers

Tessa Buckley

Zelda Rhiando

Corene Lemaitre

Simone Mondesir

Mrs Janice Preston

Roy Youdale

Sandra Forder

Rosie Blake

Emma Davies

Emma Rowley

Louise jensen

Philip Francis Latham

Helen Sneyd

Pat Yale

James Sutherland-Smith

Clive Quick

Karen King

Louise Mullins

Vikki Patis

Owen Good

Jacek Laskowski

Sue Watson

Charlotte Betts

Emma Jackson

Karen Clarke

Lisa Sell

Tanya Fenton

Duncan Brockwell

Jo Cotterill

Colin Dann

Abigail Mann

Catherine Wade (Kate Walker)

Judith Baker

Elizabeth Davies

Colin McNaughton

Chloe Sayer

Jessica Norrie

Robert McNeil

Andi Miller

Maggie Ling

Margaret James

Clare Wartnaby

Penny Black

Tony Millington

Adam Eccles

Katherine Garbera Elser

Maria McManus

Parker Foye

Eamonn Griffin

Keith A Pearson

Catrin Collier

Keith Dickinson

Kate Bodsworth

Christina Banach

Norma Clarke

James Noble

Matt Brolly

Zena Barrie

Mrs Katharine Smith

Ewan Lawrie

James McConnachie

Lorrie Sheehy

Joseph Rogers

Tabitha Potts

Amanda Holiday

Jenny Bourne

M.R. Mackenzie

Rachel Corby

Charlotte Duckworth

Karen Sullivan

Derek Farrell

Emma Reynolds

Juliet E McKenna

Rebecca Bradley

Carol Lovekin

Philip Purser-Hallard

Richard W. Strachan

Neil Jones

Louise Beech

Valentina Giambanco

David F Ross

Sasha Dugdale

Natasha Farrant

Hazel Riley

Daniel Tyt

Chris Nickson

William Shaw

Aidan Thorn

Tom Lloyd

Jamie Adams

Penny Johnson

Lulu Allison

Dr Sallie McNamara

Heleen Kist

Ben Atkinson

Sara Sheridan

Tricia Sullivan

Jackie McLean

Neel Burton

Julie Cohen

Paul Heatley

Stephanie Bretherton

Dianne Hofmeyr

Edward McDonald

Steven Butler

Mary-Jane Riley

Charlie Novak

Mark Hill

Robert Billing

Marion Lindsey-Noble

Tim Stretton

Antony Johnston

Barbara Nadel

Susanna Jones

Martin Reed

Rebecca Hart

Marianne Holmes

Mark Edwards

William Ryan

Tom Nicoll

Cath Staincliffe

Sunny Singh

Suzanne Bajor

Jo Spain

Katherine Webb

Rosemary Hill

Jayne southern

Susan Lo

Duncan MacMaster

Ann-Marie Harris

Jamie Guiney

Rachel Watson

Margaret Bateson-Hill

David Bretton

Michelle Styles

Steve Antony

Chris McDonald

Elizabeth Wilde McCormick

Jennifer Pierce

Paddy Magrane

Katherine Roberts

Josephine Greenland

Madeleine Shakespeare

Sarah Quick

Denise Smith

Jackie Marchant

Jan West

Matt Richards

Merilyn Davies

Liz Flanagan

Maureen Oakeley

Mark Jackson

Henriette Gyland

Penelope Shuttle

Elizabeth Drayson

Misha Herwin

Philippa East

Matt Williams

Sheila Johnson

Laurie Blake

Dr. Jo Perry

Laline Paull

Jill Steeples

Peter Crookston

Mark Hood

Samantha Sandys

Rebecca Hogan

Evalyn Lee

Jane Ray

Ian Patrick

Paul Burston

Emma Curtis

Claire Handscombe

Louisa de Lange

Pernille Hughes

C. A. Ardron

James Oswald

Catherine Miller

Christopher Guyver

Helen Taylor

Barbara Henderson

Linda Green

Pam Crooks

Alex Gray

Debbie Young

Jean Fullerton

Clare Flynn

Elizabeth Bailey

Theresa Le Flem

Laura E James

Martin Johnson

Janis Susan May Patterson

Gaie Sebold

Pamela Gordon

Bonnie Phelps

Linda Coleman

Antonia Reed

Sylvia Cook

Rhoda Baxter

Lucy Wilson

Karen Aldous

Nat Paterson

John Nicholl

Johnny Rich

Barbara Lorna Hudson

Natalie Normann

Christine Evans

Alison Knight

Margaret Kaine

Christine Poulson

Elisabeth Hobbes

Bex Lewis

Jane Solomon

Jacqueline Rohen

John Stuart Oliphant

Ros Rendle

Paul Bright

Sheila Riley

Cathy Bramley

Fenella J Miller

Pamela Brooks (Kate Hardy)

Amanda James

Wendy Soliman

Jackie Ladbury

Rachel Dove

Alexandra Strick (Couchman)

Kathryn Dawes

Kaite O'Reilly

Emma Fowle

Lesley Taylor

E J Pepper

Jon Gower

Wynne-Rhydderch Samantha

Alison Jean Lester

Kali Anderson

Kim Howard

Liz Hyder

Helen Brandom

Jacqui Rozdoba

Sophie Kirtley

Gwyneth Lewis

Elizabeth Soule

Karen steele

Diney Costeloe

Lynne Malcolm

Helen May Williams

Lynn Love

Paula Atkinson

Tania O'Donnell

Hannah Hulme Hunter

Anna Skoyles

Karen Baston

Ilona Jesnick

Wendy Schreder

Julie Warren

Heather Child

Jill Lamede

Julie Lamin

Chris Chalmers

Chiz Dakin

Nick Ward

Sarah Rayne

Prof Sue Zlosnik

Laura Thompson

Dr Sara Wickham

Professor Karin Friedrich

Cath Nichols

Professor David Silverman

Owen Mullen

Jacky Dahlhaus

Lucinda Hawksley

Stephen Leather

Heike Phelan

Alison Clark

Keith Dixon

Tim Bowler

Sally Freytag

Andrew Rissik

Vern Adamson

Catherine Evans

Claire Freedman

Charles Alexander

Tarja Moles

Alan McDermott

Natasha Simonova

Anna Smith (Anna Stephens)

Keith Ridgway

Gary Wood

Roger Barton

Frances Lynn

Toni Bunnell

Emma Rous

Helen Bright

Glynis Smy

W Clarke

Elen Sentier

Bob Pegg

Katherine Middleton

Paul Toolan

Susan Pares

Rachel Garcia

Paul Ferguson

Carl Tighe

Walter Houston

Eleanor Anderson

Martin Redfern

Felicity Snowden

Rowan Roenisch

Phil Sutcliffe

Paula Blair

Robin Houston

Fleur Houston

Amanda Allen

Maggie James

Ruth Brandon

Rosalind Kerven

Jane Housham

David Blake

Lesley Whitfield (Lesley Field)

Alison MacLeod

Susan Brewer

Elena Lee-Stark

Richard Johnstone-Bryden

Sue Watson

Nandakumar

Roger Garfitt

Pam Zinnemann-Hope

Dr Stephen Travis

Marilyn Pemberton

Gary Sterne

J. A. Baker

Dionne Haynes

Lesley Rea

C.L. Taylor

Richard Long

Matthew M

Alyson Faye

Mick Mackie

Richard Gross

Jennifer Hornsby

Julie King

Nerys Williams

Claire Bessant

Yvonne Ridley

Paul Evans

Duncan Lunan

Anne Sheppard

Ursula Jones

Angela Royston

Paddy Dillon

Casey Kelleher

Harriet Martin

Mark Edwards

Monique Jackman

Julie Shackman

Rohase Piercy

Eng S Jama

Carol Jan Ford

Alison Newell

Carol Anne Goodwright

Margaret Edgington

Jill Tinker

Elizabeth Dale

Allan Seabridge

Robert John Hesketh

John Michael Heard

Toby Shelley

Mike Clayton

Ed James

Morgan Birch

Tom Minney

Paul Goodwin

Philip Watson

Susan Shirley

David Harrison

Carol Tear

Felicity Martin

Ruth Singer

Lynsey Davies

Cathryn Davies

Ann Wilkinson

Michael Edward Occleshaw

Isabelle Grey

Catherine Weetman

Chris Howes

Ever Dundas

Kate Leiper

Susie Symes

Margaret Crombie

Sherryl Clark

Patrick Jasper Lee

Taofikat Agbabiaka

P Duffell

Wendy Metcalfe

Mary Keyser

Richard Bruce

Jennie Kerwin

Stephen D. Tansey

Charles Glass

Julia Bell

Jo Alexander

Jessica Norrie

Joanna Penn

Ashwin Dave

Dr Anne Summers

Paul Harrison

Emma Fischel

David Coleman

Roger Silverwood

Simon farrant

Ken Clayton

Nadia Stewart

Eric Sutherland

Emily Cock

Deena Maxine Malcolm

Eris Young

Rosemary Goodacre

Maria J Grant

Nic Vine

Liz Mistry

Jo VanEvery

Brian Launder

Professor John Radford

Alice Harman

Patricia Adams-Wright

Nikolas Barrall

Jackie Garner

Isobel Grundy

Christine Poulson

Valerie Janitch

Timothy Radcliffe

Carolyn Kagan

Frances Treanor

Howard Loxton

Pam Golden

Sarah Connell

Felicity Notley

Will Templeton

Jennifer Kavanagh

Alex Roney

Clemency Crow

Suniti Namjoshi

Miranda Rijks

Mrs Sarah Scrace

Sarah Baker

Ed Warren FRCGP

Vernon Coleman

Debbie Kennett

Ann Gravells

Barry McCartan

Judith Allnatt

David Adams

Nadine Robinson

Christopher Colquhoun

Joy Ellis

Jane Worroll

Audrey Pembroke

Jacquelynn Luben

Ruth Gilbert

Ben Archer

Ruth Dowley

Philena Bruce

Sarah Barrell

Imelda West

Anne Samson

Owen Good

Lez Cooke

Richard Swan

Mike Gayle

Mary Waters

Kevin Geddes

Tom Chatfield

Ray-Anne Lutener

Julie Sykes

James McConnachie

Richard Grimes

Keith A Pearson

Helen Hollick

Emma Kennedy

Kate Innes

Michelle Styles

Michael Marshall

Lorna Peel

John Pilkington

Amanda Revell Walton (Nancy Revell)

Kathryn Pimlott

Kim Le Patourel

Peter Raynard

Gilly Macmillan

Lynn Fraser

Dave Frost

Jackie McLean

Alison Belsham

Karen Traviss

Faye Bird

Ann Page

Lesley Kara

Ruth Collet-Fenson

Barbara Woods

Vivienne Crow

David Nicholls

Nell Pattison

Jane Holland

Lorna Cook

Phillipa Ashley

Nicola Rayner

Abigail Mann

Tess Stimson

Nick Garlick

Joanna Toye

Lindsey Kelk

Chris Townsend

Andrew Seaman

Oliver Sanders

Marg Roberts

Susie Steiner

Tracy Chevalier

Louisa Young

Bridget Collins

Emma Unsworth


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