Kindle ebooks | VAT
There is a petition on the government's epetition web-site which concludes on August 8th to scrap VAT on ebooks. It's got over 5000 signatures but I suspect it hasn't got more because Kindle books on Amazon originate in Luxembourg and attract a lower rate (3% I think) so probably many ebook readers wouldn't think there was a case to argue. However I think that the rationale for the petition is very interesting. The petitioner contends that paper books use oil based inks and glues, consume a great deal of energy for paper production and printing, use fuel oil for distribution, over use land for warehousing and then when discarded many paper books end up in landfill sites. The argument is that ebooks are far more environmentally friendly using a tiny fraction of the energy of a paper book for production, distribution and storage and at the end its life it is simply deleted. I wondered why an ebook didn't count as a book anyway and found out that for official purposes, a book has to have a stiffened cover different to the paper which the rest of the book is printed on. So that's that then. Here's the link to the epetition on the Downing Street web-site anyway.