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


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