Thursday, 14 October 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
146. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the amount he anticipates will be raised from excise duty on off-course betting and Exchequer subvention in regard to the proposed increase in the amount for the horse and greyhound racing fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24908/04]
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O’Donoghue): As the Deputy is aware, the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund was established under the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001 for the purpose of giving support to both racing industries. Under section 12(4) of the Act, there shall be paid into the fund out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, in 2002 and in each subsequent year, an amount equivalent to the revenue from excise duty on off-course betting paid into the Exchequer in the preceding year or 2000 increased by reference to the consumer price index, whichever is greater.
Section 12(5) of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001 states the aggregate amount paid into the fund shall not exceed £200 million or €254 million. As this amount will be exceeded by the end of 2004 by €4 million, the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund Regulations 2004 have been prepared with the purpose of increasing the limit to not exceed €550 million and were laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas in draft form on 22 September 2004.
It is anticipated that approximately €290.5 million will be paid into the fund in the period 2005 to 2008. Based on current growth levels in off-course betting, it is estimated that in the period 2004 to 2007, €247.5 million will be raised from excise duty on off-course betting, which would go towards the fund in the years 2005 to 2008. Assuming a consumer price index of 2.5% for the period, the amount of direct Exchequer subvention required is likely to be €43 million up to 2007 when it is expected that the fund will be financed fully from duty on off-course betting.
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