22nd July 2020, 14:30 | campaign
On 8 July Government announced a temporary reduction in VAT for admission to events and attractions including theatres, concerts, museums, and amusement parks.
A reduction in VAT from the standard rate of 20% to 5% will be in effect from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021. However, the Government made clear that this reduction does not apply to admission to sporting events and fixtures.
The RFL joins other sports in asking Government to extend the VAT cut to admission to sporting events:
Doing so would achieve considerable benefits for the sports sector including Rugby League:
Tony Sutton, Chief Operating Officer, the RFL says; “Together with other sports we are asking Government to look again and not to miss this opportunity to put sport on a par with hospitality, arts and culture. Like those sectors, we offer live, in-person, close proximity events and therefore face the same financial challenges as a result of COVID-19. Extending the VAT cut to sports tickets as well as other admissions tickets would provide an immediate boost to the sector which is under great pressure.
Just as people are being encouraged to return to cafes and restaurants through the ‘Eat Out to Help Out Scheme’, the Government can encourage the public to return to, and support, sports which were forced to close as a result of lockdown.
The return of spectators to sporting events, when it is safe to do so, is key to supporting jobs and the long-term financial security of the whole sports sector – just as returning to restaurants or theme parks matters to those sectors. Watching sport again is good for our collective mental health and the nation’s psyche as we come out of a difficult time and the nation recovers.
A VAT reduction on ticket sales could have significant benefits for the cash flow of clubs, including Rugby League clubs, as well as being a direct benefit to the customer.
For all these reasons, the RFL urges Government to extend the VAT reduction for admission to events to sporting events.”