Bunged Rupe some dosh? Did I?
The Publishers’ Association was not unhappy at the news. “We are delighted that the government has decided to zero-rate VAT on digital books and journals in the Budget. It's fantastic that the Chancellor has acknowledged the value of reading. The decision to axe the reading tax will bring an end to the illogical and unfair tax on those who need or prefer to read digitally and should contribute to an increase in literacy in the UK”.
How many tens of millions, Rupe?
So how much will Rishi end up bunging Rupe? Waterson ran some rough and ready numbers. “Very loose fag packet numbers: Times has 300,000 online subs … Hypothetically let's pretend all are at £26pm headline rate = income of £94m a year including VAT … If they keep the cost to consumer the same, that's a £20m boost to News UK”. News UK is at present losing £14 million a year - net of exceptional legal costs.was not lost on campaigning group Hacked Off, where director Kyle Taylor observed “This state handout of millions of pounds to the Murdochs and other media owners comes as several of these publishers face extensive litigation. These publishers should be investigated and reformed; not handed a wad of public cash”.
Taylor also pointed out “the Government has today announced that relief will apply to the same newspapers which continue to wreak havoc in the lives of innocent people. Weeks after the death of Caroline Flack, this announcement provides a bumper tax break to the very same companies which subjected Ms Flack to months of abusive and intrusive coverage. It is an insult to all the victims of press abuse”. Well, quite.
Thus enriched, the press will be emboldened to carry on as before. Not good enough.
[The Legalballs Fund has now closed]