North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson has called for VAT to be slashed on audiobooks – which she claims discriminate against those with disabilities or other challenges.

Unlike physical and digital books, audiobooks are subject to a VAT levy of 20 per cent making them more expensive to buy.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the SNP MP said the joy of books must be equal for all and not based on people’s ability to pay.

She said: “Reading for pleasure is hugely important and can transform lives and should always be encouraged.

“However, many are unable to benefit from physical and digital books and instead rely on audiobooks.

“The higher price discriminates against those who rely on them, perhaps due to a disability or other challenges, impeding their ability to access books in the only way they can.

“I again called on the UK Government to scrap VAT on audiobooks and level the playing field when it comes to enjoying the wonder of books."

Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons, commended Mrs Gibson for her campaign and urged her to take it further.

She said: “I think the honourable lady sets out a very good case to be made to the treasury.

“Of course we can only do these things because we are now in control of our whole fiscal policy. It is a great campaign and I urge her to raise it with the relevant secretary of state.”