Athletics Ireland Support The Federation of Irish Sport’s Pre-Budget Submission




Federation points to impact of inflation on government funding for sport and for delivery of National Sports Policy 

  • Submission highlight's sport's contribution to economy - 64,000 jobs and a €3.7 billion GVA contribution to economy
  • Submission highlights detailed Tax Reform Report already gone to government showing how Action 3.7 of Sports Action Plan can benefit all sports
  • FIS calls on Government to raise Betting tax and earmark extra revenue for sport to help tackle betting addiction
  • Need to Accelerate reform of insurance costs in relation to sport

On Wednesday, 13th September, the Federation of Irish Sport delivered its Pre-Budget Submission to the government. Their submission identifies four "Key Asks" which it is asking to be taken into consideration in the development of Budget 2024. As was the case last year the Federation also suggests how some relatively simple changes in taxation policy could make a major difference for sport and physical activity.

At the core of the submission is an appeal to government to continue to demonstrate its commitment to the National Sports Policy by increasing core funding for member NGBs and LSPs in line with its stated ambition to double the level of overall sports funding over the life of the National Sports Policy.

The submission highlights that "a combination of inflation and the need to invest ever more funds in such vital areas such as governance, child protection, GDPR etc., has had an impact on the funding available for their essential work of the NGB's and LSP's in bringing more people into sport. Their investment into people and programmes must be protected if we are to continue to enjoy the successes of recent years both in participation levels and high performance".

In tandem with this they again ask government to move to a multi-annual system of core funding for sport and physical activity by confirming the annual increase in funding in line with the National Sports Policy - thereby giving the NGB’s and LSP’s the opportunity to plan ahead. It notes that this is particularly important if Ireland is to retain its best people across the sporting spectrum.

Overall, the FIS Pre-Budget Submission highlights the urgent need for on-going support of the sector that today supports 64,000 jobs is worth over €3.7bn (GVA) to the Irish Economy.

The Federations second main "ASK" of government concerns making a number of changes in current taxation policy. Action 3.7 of the Sports Policy action plan 2021-2023 contains a number of tax expenditure reforms which at their core seek to help make sporting organisations become more self-sustainable and less reliant on government.

The Federation of Irish Sport was given responsibility to drive this action and they enlisted the support of A&L Goodbody to produce a detailed report on the subject. This Report, which is highlighted in the Federation's Submission has been with government since August 2022.

Among the recommendations of the Report are  -

  • Extending relief on donations to approved sporting bodies. 
  • VAT relief for sporting bodies. 
  • Granting of charitable status to those NGBs and LSPs who wish to pursue that option.
  • Tax-driven incentives for personal exercise.

The Report contains detailed proposals on all areas of taxation that might be relatively easily changed to benefit sport and ultimately the health of the nation.

In its third "ASK" the Federation suggests that the government increase the Betting Tax from 2% to 3% with the additional monies raised be devoted to sport and also to how sport might be targeted at tackling the problems of gambling addiction.

The Federation’s final ask of Government, is that they look closely at insurance reform. Insurance Reforms are needed that will quickly reduce liability premiums to affordable levels. These reforms have been identified but they are not happening fast enough and are consequently negatively impacting the sports sector and its ability to providing sporting facilities and host sporting events.

Speaking on the launch of the Pre-Budget Submission Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connor said; “It is vital that the NGB’s and the LSP’s have continuing access to the funding necessary to facilitate the achievement of the aims of the National Sports Policy as well as their own strategic objectives, we have said on many occasions it is equally important that the government commits to such funding on a multi-annual basis if we are to realise the potential of all funding and make impactful and sustainable interventions.

“What we are proposing here today are achievable means by which the Government can immediately boost the sports sector at no extra cost to the exchequer.”

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