Published On: Fri, Jul 11th, 2014

Children’s Book Writer Allan Ahlberg Rejects Award

Allan Ahlberg
British children’s book author Allan Ahlberg has reportedly rejected a lifetime achievement award which he was presented with because it was sponsored by the bookseller Amazon because it seems that Amazon does not pay its fair share of tax in Britain.

In an open letter which was published on the website of The Bookseller, a business magazine for the book industry Ahlberg stated that “tax, fairly applied to us all, is a good thing. It pays for schools, hospitals, libraries! When companies like Amazon cheat by paying 0.1 percent on billions, pretending it is earning money not in the UK, but in Luxembourg, that’s a bad thing,”
Adding that, “we should surely, at the very least, say that it is bad and on no account give it any support or, by association, respectability.” For Ahlberg the “idea that (his) lifetime achievement should have the Amazon tag attached it it is unacceptable.

In May of this year, it was reported that Amazon.com Inc had filed accounts showing a British tax bill of 10 million pounds ($17.02 million) despite $7.3 billion sales in the United Kingdom, because the company reports most of its European profit in a tax-exempt Luxembourg partnership.
The BBC on its website quoted Booktrust’s chief executive Viv Bird as saying she was disappointed that Ahlberg had turned down the award but that it was his decision to do so. She added that they “are also grateful for the tremendous support we get from many eminent authors and illustrators. Amazon’s sponsorship of the Best Book Awards, in its inaugural year, enabled us to celebrate some of the best of children’s literature, create a buzz around books, and make a significant contribution to our mission of encouraging more children to read.”
Denisha Sahadevan

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Children’s Book Writer Allan Ahlberg Rejects Award