Prominent Magazine Editors get behind PPA call to cut reading tax

Louisa Cavell

A group of prominent magazine Editors have written to The Times today urging the Chancellor to cut the 20% digital reading tax in his budget next week

Prominent magazine Editors with a collective total brand reach, as measured by PANCo, in excess of 17 million readers have written to The Times urging the Chancellor to axe the reading tax in his budget next week, which currently sees digital readers hit with a 20% premium for the same quality content. 
Sir –
As the Editors of some of the UK’s most popular magazines, collectively read by one in seven of the population each month, our publications range from politics, current affairs, entertainment, retail, to fashion.
Our brands now reach more readers than ever but readers of our digital magazines are penalised by an outdated VAT system.
Consumers have long understood that printed magazines are charged zero VAT, whereas it comes as a surprise to most that the same quality journalism in digital editions is hit with a 20% VAT charge which goes straight into government coffers. This is simply unfair: it disproportionately affects our younger readers and those with accessibility requirements.
As Ofcom recently confirmed, the pages of our magazines are the most trusted by consumers to deliver quality, accuracy and trustworthiness - regardless of format. 
In an era of fake news and with low literacy rates holding back the economy by £2.5bn a year, the Chancellor should use his budget next week to axe this unfair digital reading tax.

Kath Brown, Editor, woman&home

Trish Halpin, Editor-in-Chief, Marie Claire

Richard Headland, Editor-in-Chief, Which?

Gaby Huddart, Editor-in-Chief, Good Housekeeping

Dylan Jones, Editor-in-Chief, GQ

Adam Leyland, Editor, The Grocer

Mark Frith, Editorial Director, Radio Times

Caroline Law, Editor, The Week

Barry McIlheney, CEO, PPA

Paul McNamee, Chairman, PPA Scotland

Alex Mead, Chair, British Society of Magazine Editors

Rosie Nixon, Editor-In-Chief, HELLO! Magazine 

Vanessa Richmond, Editorial Director, Ideal Home

Sarah Spiteri, Editorial Director, LivingETC 

Farrah Storr, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan

Charlie Turner, Editor-in-Chief, BBC TopGear

Terri White, Editor-in-Chief, EMPIRE

Support the campaign? Click here to Email your MP asking them to support the #AxeTheReadingTax campaign and to write to the Chancellor about the issue.


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