Mary Bish, one of the storytellers from the Bournemouth workshop, has had her story featured in a national campaign calling for the removal of VAT on ebooks. Axe The Reading Tax has the backing of more than 100 MPs, 42 leading publishers and authors Stephen Fry and Joanne Harris, as well as several reading charities. The campaign started last year but has recently had a resurgence of interest thanks to an online petition featuring Mary, press coverage and a question in the House of Commons. With a new Chancellor in place, the hope is that what many see as an unfair tax on reading will be finally removed, following countries like Ireland, France and Italy who have already removed it.
The tax covers all sorts of digital publications, including non-fiction, textbooks and research journals so has a direct impact on students. However, its biggest impact is on those individuals like Mary who struggle to read traditional printed material and are dependent on digital devices and the various accessibility features they have built in to them. Mary is a passionate supporter of the campaign and has been encouraging friends and family to sign the petition. You can find out more about the campaign on the Axe the Tax website and sign the petition featuring Mary here