The Publishers Association has compiled a summer audio reading list for parliamentarians as it urges them to remove VAT on audiobooks.
Earlier this year, the PA scored a major victory in its Axe the Reading Tax campaign when it was announced this year that VAT was being scrapped on e-books, a decision fast-tracked by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. However, audiobooks are still subject to the charge.
The PA is now offering parliamentarians a free audiobook title from the list on a first come, first served basis to enjoy over their summer recess. They have been invited to tweet about their chosen title using the hashtag #SummerStories.
The titles have been nominated by members of the Publishers Association and the list has been divided into categories demonstrating the breadth of audio publishing in the UK market.
Books on the list include Two Stories by Sally Rooney (Faber), The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Hachette Audio), Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (W F Howes) and All My Lies Are True by Dorothy Koomson (Headline).
Stephen Lotinga, c.e.o. of the PA, said: “We have a fantastic and fast-growing audiobook market in the UK. It’s a pleasure to be able to showcase this area of the industry by sharing this exciting list of titles with parliamentarians. It’s also a great opportunity to raise the issue that audiobooks are still subject to VAT despite print books and ebooks being exempt – and highlight that this is illogical and should change. Thank you to all the publishers who have contributed titles for this list.”
The list comes after research by the National Literacy Trust showed 69.5% of children and young people said that listening to audiobooks makes it easier to understand the content of a book. This number is even higher for boys (71.7%) and children who receive free school meals (74%).