Canada’s Book and Periodical Council (BPC) has issued a statement urging the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to abolish the new 10% sales tax on books and find ways to keep all of the province’s public libraries open. In a letter to Premier Ball, BPC says they believe that the combination of these two actions will hurt more than help people in the province.
“Our members expect the following effects:
- a decline in revenue for booksellers, publishers and authors
- a decline in the number of books published in the province
- the loss of $1 million in annual funding for the library board
- the loss of 64 library jobs
- the reduction of access to books and libraries for children and seniors
- the denial of public access to libraries and the Internet in rural areas
- the persistence of illiteracy among poorer and more isolated citizens
The Book and Periodical Council is the umbrella organization for Canadian associations that are or whose members are primarily involved with the writing, editing, translating, publishing, producing, distributing, lending, marketing, reading and selling of written words. Their members represent approximately 6,000 individuals and 5,500 firms and institutions.
The 10% book tax is set to come into effect on July 1, 2016, and the sales tax on most books will rise to 15% on January 1, 2017, which will make Newfoundland the first province in Canada to tax books.