Racehorse breeders call for 2pc levy on bookies
Racehorse breeders have thrown their weight behind calls for a 2pc levy on the income of bookmakers.
The funds raised would go to support the horseracing industry, cutting the need for government support.
The call comes as the government sits down to consider revenue-raising measures in the run up to the budget.
Horse breeders want income from the levy on betting companies to support their industry.
Last night the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (ITBA) said the Government should reinstate a 2pc levy on the gambling industry.
The ITBA said a report by economist Colm McCarthy showed the tax could raise between €60m and €70m per year. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan cut the levy on bets made in betting shops to 1pc in 2008.
The ITBA said an alternative such as a betting duty on telephone or internet betting is easily evaded. It called for licensing of internet, telephone and betting shops.
This would safeguard the industry, which employs thousands of people.
According to the ITBA, horseracing generates €1.1bn for the Irish economy every year between direct employment and indirect benefits.
The industry also attracts in excess of 80,000 tourist visits.
At a time when the Government is doing its best to source and secure rural and urban jobs, they should not lose sight of the thousands of jobs the industry is providing on its doorstep countrywide.
ITBA president Dr Dean Harron said up to 85pc of bookmakers' turnover comes from racing. He said Ireland had the lowest rate of betting tax in the world.