The Federation of Irish Sport has submitted its Pre-Budget asks of the government for consideration in Budget 2023.

The submission identifies five key asks and also makes suggestions as to where funding might be found.

Central to this is a request to consider how sport might be supported by reforming elements of the tax system to benefit Sport and Physical Activity.

That is a ‘joined up government’ idea that has long been floated and gained traction with inclusion in the Sports Policy Action Plan that was published covering 2021-23 actions need to remain in line with the Ten Year National Sports Policy that runs until 2027.

Read our detailed analysis of the plan from December 2021.
These included granting charitable status to National Governing Bodies; extending tax relief on capital donations to those made towards sports participation programmes; lowering the €250 limit in individual donations supporting capital projects and extending the zero rate of VAT regime to include sport and physical activity engagement.

The Federation was given the lead on this and over the past number of months they have engaged A&L Goodbody to compile a report on the benefits which has been submitted to the Government.

Overall, the FIS Pre-Budget Submission highlights the urgent need for the ongoing support of the sector that is worth over €3.7bn in Gross Value Add to the Irish Economy.

Long-Term Impact of Covid

The Irish Sports Monitor Report has shown the severe setback caused to the sector in meeting targets set out in the National Sports Policy, due to the impact of Covid-19. In some areas, the figures had regressed to 2019 levels.

The overall ask is that the government continues 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.

In tandem with this, they ask the 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 NGBs and LSP’s the opportunity to plan ahead.

This is likely to be acted upon after the High-Performance funding model was moved to a cycle basis rather than year by year earlier in the summer.


In the third and fourth recommendations to the government, the Federation believe that the reallocation of funding from the betting duty of 2.25% and a redirecting of 4.5% of the sweetened sugar drinks tax would significantly enable the implementation of a support and educational body that would accelerate behavioural change and health benefits in each area.

Ringfencing particular revenue streams towards specific areas of expenditure is rare, with the exception of the betting tax monies which have traditionally been used to make up some if not all of the Government funding of the Horse and Greyhound Racing industries which, given their importance to the rural economy are unlikely to be cut adrift.

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.

“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,” said Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport.

“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.”

The budget will be announced on September 27th.