End the unfair tax that penalises me for reading digital books

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My name is Mary and I am 88 years old. I have macular degeneration and for over ten years my eyesight has been gradually deteriorating, meaning that I have more and more difficulty reading print books.

When I learnt I could download books onto my e-reader, the door to the joys of reading was reopened. It has been brilliant. Without downloadable books my life would be much poorer and I think everyone should be able to access books in the format that suits their individual needs.

However, I have learnt that I am discriminated against by having to pay 20% tax in the form of VAT, which applies to digital books but not print ones. I think this is unfair on the many people, like myself, who have difficulty reading print books.

E-books are not only helpful to those who suffer from macular degeneration; they are helpful to many others with poor sight or who struggle to hold print books easily. With the books I download, I can enlarge the font and read in any light. I also have poor mobility and my e-reader means that I can access all kinds of stories from the comfort of my own home.

The Government has never applied VAT on print books, to ensure that everybody has access to the benefits of reading and learning. It therefore does not make sense to me that a book as a download costs more because of the 20% VAT, when the same version in print is tax free.

That is why I am writing this petition to call on the Government to Axe the Reading Tax on e-publications. This will allow those who are not able to read print books to continue to enrich their lives without this unfair tax.

Please sign to support my call on the Government to make reading and learning available to all.

Thank you.

I am working in conjunction with the Axe the Reading Tax Campaign. Learn more about the campaign at www.axethereadingtax.org