Don Foster MP


Foster leads MP opposition of tax on grassroots sport

December 8, 2023 by admin in Don in Parliament, News

A cross party group of MPs led by Don Foster has condemned a move by the government to impose VAT on the activities of five-a-side football leagues.

Don Foster MP, the co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, has tabled a parliamentary motion criticising HM Revenue and Customs for the move.

Commenting, Don Foster said:

“In the run up to London 2012, one half of government is calling for more sport and a healthier nation, while the other is trying to tax a popular sporting activity.

“HMRC needs to think about the damage this will do. It makes no sense to drive casual footballers away with a tax bill when really we should be encouraging more people to take the game up.

“Five-a-side grassroots football league operators have invested millions of pounds in sporting facilities used by schools and local communities. They make a big contribution and government should be supporting them, not slapping them with a VAT burden.”

The full motion reads as follows:

“That this House believes the decision by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to apply the standard rate of VAT to the provision of five a side football leagues will be damaging to participation in sport; notes that the decision affects schools and communities that are recipients of free access to high quality football facilities provided by operators of five a side football leagues; believes that five a side football should be encouraged in its contribution to the Olympic and Paralympic sporting participation goals, particularly as participation in five a side football is currently far higher than participation in eleven a side football; and calls on HMRC to continue to apply VAT exempt status to the provision of five a side football leagues, as has been the case for more than twenty years.”