Backbench Business

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:29 pm on 15 June 2023.

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Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:29, 15 June 2023

The Minister is making a good point. In a previous life as a university lecturer in journalism, I had a student who was blind. The books that were available as audiobooks were much more expensive because of the VAT, and there were fewer of them. With podcasts, there is more material. The educational value is not just in schools, but goes right through to higher education. I had an elderly grandparent who went blind, but was still able to read through audiobooks, which became a lifeline. The VAT is an obstacle to providing a vital lifeline to elderly people who can no longer read.