Loss of tax revenue is called negligible despite reduced funding for sports

The Government have now decided to grant a tax amnesty to overseas athletes who are to compete in London Grand prix in the Olympic stadium this summer. This to ensure that famous athletes, such as Usain Bolt, will come and compete.

Britain used to impose taxes on appearance fees and prize money for non-resident athletes who competed in any sports in the country. This tax has prevented Bolt racing in Britain since 2009, except for the summer olympics, because he thinks it is to expensive.

George Osborne, British treasury chief, agreed to the tax concession because it is important for the Olympic legacy. He also means that the loss of tax revenue is negligible compared the to the benefits for London and athletics.

It is interesting how the Government, who decided to reduce funding for connecting sports clubs and schools, and in some cases remove completely, funding for elite sports that do not have a chance of winning gold at the olympics, can afford to call a loss of tax revenue negligible.

Is the Olympic legacy only about getting athletic superstars to compete in the UK, or should it not about getting people active, especially children, in sports that interest them?

 

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Basketball gets funding after all

Last week we wrote about how the government, despite their promise to keep the sports legacy from the Olympics permanent, decided to not fund British basketball anymore. This led to two angry open letters to David Cameron from 2005 ambassador for the games Amber Charles and British basketball superstar Luol Deng.

The government have now changed their mind and decided to fund basketball for another year, claiming that it is not the open letters that changed their mind. Instead Liz Nicholl, UK Sport’s chief executive, says that the decision is based on performance criteria. According to the EuroBasket draw, that took place after the first decision, England has a chance of a place in the top-eight in Rio 201.

There are still sports that has to make it without funding, such as table tennis, wrestling and indoor volleyball, while sports such as weightlifting and powerlifting have to survive on smaller funds than they would have wished for.

The reason some sports do not get funding is because UK sport’s and the sports minister, Hugh Robertson, thinks it is better to fund sports that have a chance to win a medal, preferably a gold-medal, at the Olympics.

So does this mean that the government only plans to keep the legacy going for sports that can give them gold-medals? Is sport really all about winning or is it not mostly about getting people active in sports they enjoy?

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Government breaks its promise to keep sports alive – again

As we have written before, the government has failed to keep the sports legacy from the Olympics 2012 positive and permanent, and to encourage young people to get involved in sports. Now they have decided to cut all of the funding for basketball in the UK, something that has upset both Amber Charles, who was an ambassador for the Games around the time for the bid in 2005, and British basketball superstar Luol Deng.

They have both decided to write letters to David Cameron, letting him know how upsetting it is for them and others involved in the sport. Why basketball can’t keep its funding isn’t clearly answered and is it really the government’s job to decide which sports are more important then others? Especially when their promise was to encourage people, particularly young people to get involved in sports.

 

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