The Federation of Irish Sport have submitted their Pre-Budget asks of government for consideration in Budget 2023. Their submission identifies 5 key asks but makes suggestion as to where funding might be found. At the core of the submission, they ask government to look seriously at how sport might be supported by reforming elements of the tax system to benefit Sport and Physical Activity.

Overall, the FIS Pre-Budget Submission highlights the urgent need for on-going support of the sector that is worth over €3.7bn (GVA) to the Irish Economy. The Irish Sports Monitor (ISM) Report has shown the severe setback caused to the sector in meeting targets set out in the National Sports Policy (NSP), due to the impact of Covid-19. In some areas, the figures had regressed to 2019 levels.

View Pre-Budget Submission here

  • Federation demonstrates how Action 3.7 of Sports Action Plan can benefit all sports
  • Submission highlight’s sport’s €3.7 billion GVA contribution to economy
  • Call for government to continue current funding investment in keeping with ambition of National Sports Policy
  • Greater certainty also needed as government asked to move to multi-annual system for funding
  • FIS also asks government to allocate funds from betting and from sugar tax to use sport to tackle these problems
  • Need to reform insurance costs in relation to sport

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 have enlisted the support of A&L Goodbody. A full report has recently been made available to government.

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 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.

In the third and fourth recommendations to 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.

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.”

Sport and the Economy Facts & Figures:

Health: 97,000 cases of disease in Ireland in 2019 were prevented by participation in sport and physical activity. The net value of health care and wider costs savings achieved was €0.4bn in 2019.

Employment: 64,080 people were employed in sport in Ireland in 2018. Sport-related jobs account for 2.8% of all Irish employment, up from 2.1% in 2008.

Consumer Expenditure: €3.3bn spent by people in Ireland on sport-related goods and services in 2018. Sport made up 3.1% of all consumer expenditure in Ireland in 2018 (up from 2% in 2008).

The sport economy has grown faster than the economy as a whole over the last 10 years.

Gross Value Added: €3.7bn (GVA) Total value of sport to the Irish economy in 2018.

Source: Researching the value of sport in Ireland – Sport Ireland and Sheffield Hallam University, September 2021