BRITAIN’S hated digital “reading tax” is being scrapped tomorrow to help get the nation reading in the Covid lockdown.
Online books and newspapers used to have to cough up a whopping 20 per cent in VAT.
But Chancellor Rishi Sunak is scrapping the levy in a move which could slash the cost of e-books and online newspapers.
He will also spend a whopping £35million on a coronavirus PR blitz in newspapers to give Brits the latest news on the deadly virus.
The publicity campaign will provide a vital lifeline to many regional papers, who battling for survival as ad revenues plummet.
Mr Sunak said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people across the UK to get hold of the books they want whilst they are staying at home and saving lives.
“That is why we have fast tracked plans to scrap VAT on all e-publications, which will make it cheaper for publishers to sell their books, magazines and newspapers.”
The tax cut was due to come in this December in time for the Christmas book rush.
But Mr Sunak has brought the plans forward six month to help get bored Brits trapped indoors in the lockdown reading.
The cost of a £12 e-book could be slashed by £2 and e-newspapers subscriptions by up to £25 a year.
A whopping 31 per cent of Brits say they are reading more in the lockdown, a poll released last week by the Reading Agency found.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This tax relief on subscriptions to digital publications
will boost our world-class publishers, save consumers money and reflects the surge in popularity of e-reading as we stay at home to protect the NHS.
“I hope to see it benefitting the news industry through increased sales of e-newspapers as they continue to provide a vital public service giving people accurate and trusted information about coronavirus.”