Ireland Active, the representative body for gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres and commercial sports facilities has published its budget submission ahead of tomorrow’s decision making in relation to public spending by Government for 2022.

It calls again for the implementation of an Employee Exercise scheme similar to that which works for the Cycle to Work scheme and the travel TaxSaver one.

It would allow for an annual purchase of Gym equipment by an employer for a staff member up to a value of €500 that would not be taxable as a benefit in kind.

It would also allow for the group purchase of accredited classes and swimming lessons.

It has also asked for the inclusion of energy works grants as part of the Sports Capital Grants programme so as to improve the viability of facilities that are used by more members of the public through personal exercise and swimming than any other sporting facilities.

Another key element of the submission is to zero rate VAT on access to gyms and swimming pools, arguing that a tax on physical activity is counterproductive to the aims of the National Sports Policy.

“Our members have incurred very large losses by the public health restrictions over the last 18 months and now that the sector is slowly reopening, albeit still restricted, our shift must now focus on sustaining and reviving the sector,” said Ireland Active CEO Karl Dunne

“Continued wage supports are vital for the sector along with financial supports to enable the leisure, health and fitness sector to reemploy staff ensuring the continued survival of the sector along with incentives to get more people physically active.”

The Federation of Irish Sport submission was covered on Sport for Business here.


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