Officials from Horse Racing Ireland have shared their hopes that the budget plans of the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will reveal so-called “pro-business” measures for the local bloodstock industry as soon they are officially unveiled on Tuesday.
According to recent data, the racing industry was granted with a record €64 million a year earlier as part of the Horse & Greyhound Fund. This amount was €4.8 million higher on the previous year and also represented a third straight increase after the Government funding fell as low as €43.4 million three years ago, in 2014.
Hopes for ”Pro-Business” Measures
The bloodstock industry is expecting some answers related to funding, and more specifically if the fund its to be granted with another boost for the upcoming year. Horse Racing Ireland has been seeking for an increased 2.5% betting tax, as the current percent rate is taken up by local betting companies.
As mentioned above, Horse Racing Ireland had urged the Government to consider an increase in the betting tax, saying that a duty of 2.5% with the customers actually improving the balance, would still make Ireland one of the countries featuring one of the lowest betting tax rates on a global scale. Understandably, gambling operators in the country have opposed such a step.
As reported by The Irish Times, yesterday the Chief Executive Officer of the Horse Racing Ireland Brian Kavanagh shared that he would hope that longer-terms plans of the local Government would also be focused on betting tax and details of distributed funding for the Horse and Greyhound Fund for 2018. He also shared that he gave up trying to make predictions about the budget a long time ago.
Mr. Kavanagh also confessed that one of the major concerns of Horse Racing Ireland and the horse industry as a whole were associated with the uncertainty over possible impact from BREXIT. He once again shared that he would be very happy to see a budget that is more favourable to business and would be beneficial for breeders, trainers and as a whole, to everyone who operates within the racing industry.
BREXIT Could Hit Irish Horseracing Hard
For some time now, Irish horseracing has been concerned that upcoming BREXIT could have a massive negative impact on the industry. Both breeders and owners worry that the British exodus from the European Union would result in breaking many vital links with the largest market.
For some time, the horseracing business in Ireland has been relying on long-standing agreements that allow free movement of thousands of horses between the UK and Ireland. However, the BREXIT puts these arrangements between the two countries’ industries in jeopardy, with the horse racing industry in Ireland being put in a state of anxiety.
About a week ago, the CEO of the Irish governing body for horseracing Brian Kavanagh told The Financial Times that the two industries literally operate as one thanks to the interlinks they share. According to Mr. Kavanagh, the fundamentals of the industry, that have literally been taken for granted, have been seriously challenged by the BREXIT, the uncertain outlook for the negotiations of the country’s exit from the European Union and the internal conflicts in the UK Government.