Willie O’Reilly: Newspapers must keep eyes on the prize after Vat victory

With the hotly lobbied for zero Vat rate now won, it’s up to the sector to use the cash released wisely to evolve a strong, meaningful digital offering

The elimination of Vat on newspapers is a welcome development: increasing investment in digital editions with the extra cash has to be a priority. Picture: Getty

The newspaper industry’s persistence paid off in Budget 2023. A zero rate of Vat was what NewsBrands, the representative body for national newspapers, both print and online, had been clamouring for.

It was a red letter day for all those who put ink on paper, because the financial threat to the industry has become existential. Newspaper circulations and revenues are falling, and while digital subscriptions have been rising, they don’t fill the gap.

It’s been ...