The Irish government appears to have offered a concession in the fight over a proposed doubling of the Irish betting tax, by agreeing to review the effects of the changes.
According to reports in the Irish media, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has announced that the government will review its changes, following dire warnings from the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) that the tax rise would trigger a wave of job losses.
The measure was passed by the Dail on Thursday and is expected to pass through the Upper House shortly, ahead of the implementation of the tax rise on January 1. But following a debate on the measure and a series of proposed amendments, Donohoe said he would order a report on the impact of the tax rises. The report will be presented to the Finance Committee in the first quarter of 2019.
Failed to consult
In a statement issued following the original budget announcement in October, Sharon Byrne, the Chair of the IBA, said that the government had failed to consult with the Irish betting industry before announcing the rise, and described their estimate that the doubling of the tax would lead to €50 million of tax income as a fantasy.
In the days following the announcement, Byrne said she has spoken to a number of long-standing small independent bookmakers who had told her that the tax increase would force them to close, and the IBA estimated that up to 300 betting shops could be closed, with 1500 jobs lost. She welcomed the news that the government will review the effects of the changes:
We are grateful the government have committed to doing a review early in 2019. This is critical as it will prove how a 100% increase is simply a tax on jobs and unsustainable. It cannot happen quick enough.”
Wooden blocks on coins spelling tax image taken from shutterstock.com
Steven is a seasoned freelancer writer from Coventry in the UK. He specialises in writing about the gambling industry and aims to provide unbiased, trustworthy and high quality content to the public. Whilst away from his freelance writing work he enjoys watching the football and following the F1.