Richard Baldwin has set out the strong case for another look at the way we tax sport in the UK in an article for the World Sports Law Report.
This subject area is always difficult for law makers – because most of the high-profile cases are about very well paid athletes in a variety of sports. Quite rightly who has any sympathy for top paid footballers paying a bit of tax? I certainly wouldn’t have any qualms about making them pay their way.
But as my old friend Richard points out there are other consequences for our tax regime on sport as a whole. We actually need sport to prosper for so many other government agendas that overtaxing and killing them off is a little shortsighted.
I can’t see many negotiations with the Treasury getting very far with the current regime/coalition government. Cuts are the order of the day and as far as the Treasury are concerned revenue lost is just as important as revenue gained.
The burden on sport could be lifted. It just needs to be treated in the same way as other areas of public policy. We discovered this when I was campaigning for the CASC scheme and more recently on the Subs for Clubs campaign. Sport seems to be singled out for negative tax concessions compared to other areas – even the National Trust!
Richard Baldwin is one of the few people who keeps bagging this particular drum. I have worked with him several times to try and achieve some minor victories along the way. But until we have a government as a whole that sees the value of sport they will only be small victories along the way. But Richard will never give up. He epitomizes the voluntary sport nut who gives his/her all with passion! I hope to keep helping him along.