OXFORD-BASED games and comic publisher Rebellion is living up to its futuristic law enforcer Judge Dredd by helping zap new EU tax laws.

The firm, whose 2000 AD comic stars the popular character, who “metes out instant justice wherever it’s needed”, has pledged £1,700 to a pressure group fighting the legislation.

The cash will pay for EU VAT Action campaigners, including Witney author Juliet Souch, to meet European finance ministers at a Dublin summit next month.

They hope to persuade officials to suspend the new VAT rules, aimed at forcing internet giants such as amazon to pay more tax, which they claim could destroy hundreds of small online traders.

Rebellion chief executive Jason Kingsley said: “While the changes in VAT legislation seem to have been put in place to prevent tax abuse by big international entities, something which we probably all agree is good thing, it appears that the legislators simply forgot to take into account the needs of small and emerging business, particularly in the digital space.”

Business News

VAT must now be charged according to where the customer, rather than the supplier, is based and anyone selling digital services such as games or e-books or knitting patterns must register, even if their turnover is under the £81,000 threshold.

Mr Kingsley added: “Once our lawmakers understand the issues I’m confident that bright minds will realise some sort of financial threshold would be sensible and helpful."

Mrs Souch, who writes as Juliet McKenna said: "We’re fully funded, thanks to the outstanding generosity of the video games company Rebellion, who can see exactly how bad this is for digital creatives. Since this affects so many people in games, comics and books, they decided to guarantee we’d be representing the self-starters and independents at that vital meeting.”