Help abolish VAT on audiobooks

Posted: Wednesday 01 March 2023
Woman listening to audiobook while writing in book

An MP is leading a call in Parliament to abolish VAT on audiobooks, to support people with visual impairments.

The Member of Parliament for Hemel Hempstead, Sir Mike Penning, has launched a formal proposal for debate to scrap the tax on audiobooks, after it was brought to his attention by a constituent.

Sir Mike's early day motion, currently has more than 20 signatures from MPs. He is now calling for Macular Society supporters to write to their local MPs to encourage them to sign it too.  

He said: “Audiobooks are now widely available across all genres; from business to academic, from historical to self-help, and they offer a lifeline for many people with sight loss, visual impairment, dyslexia or other reading disabilities.

“They offer unique opportunities for visually-impaired and dyslexic people to improve their education on a par with their peers and in many cases enable visually-impaired and dyslexic people to continue working independently for longer and thereby contribute to the economy for longer”

In 2020 the Government fast-tracked plans to scrap VAT on e-books as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. E-books, e-newspapers, e-magazines and academic e-journals are now all zero rated in line with their physical counterparts.

Sir Mike hopes the Government will make the same decision for audiobooks.

He added: “Other European countries have recently reduced their rates of VAT on audiobooks, Norway to zero, and I believe the UK should now do the same.”

If you support the call to scrap VAT on audiobooks, you can support Sir Mike Penning and the Macular Society by writing to your MP and asking them to back the motion. 

To write to your MP, you can find their details online – Find your MP

Read the published early day motion.