Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (232)

Joan Burton

Question:

373 Ms Burton asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the role his Department has in relation to the horse and greyhound fund; if the income and expenditure of the fund are available, including the main expenditure of the fund in each of the past three years and the sources of income of the fund. [25394/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

Under Section 12 of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001, the horse and greyhound racing fund was established "for the purpose of giving support to horse and greyhound racing". The fund is controlled by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism and is split 80%-20% between Horse Racing Ireland and Bord na gCon.

In accordance with section 12(3) and (4) of the Act, the Minister shall pay into the fund out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, in the year 2001, an amount equivalent to the revenue paid into the Exchequer in the year 2000 from excise duty on off-course betting. In the year 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 the year 2000 increased by reference to the consumer price index, whichever is greater.

The amounts paid each year, up to and including the end of September 2004, to Horse Racing Ireland and Bord na gCon are set out in the following table:

Year

Amount of Fund provided in Vote of the Department

Amount paid from the Fund to 30 Sept 2004

Allocation paid to Horse Racing Ireland

Allocation paid to Bord na gCon

2001

58,890,000

58,890,000

47,112,000

11,778,000

2002

68,065,814

68,065,814

54,452,611

13,613,203

2003

64,186,000

64,186,000

51,349,000

12,837,000

2004

66,914,000

59,004,400

45,621,600

13,382,800

Total

258,055,814

250,146,214

198,535,211

51,611,003

The fund income in 2001 and 2002 was equivalent to the actual revenue from the duty on off-course betting in the preceding years. In 2003 and 2004 the revenue generated from the duty on off-course betting was supplemented by an Exchequer subvention of €16.2 million and €28.5 million respectively.

Section 12(5) of the Act states the aggregate amount paid into the fund shall not exceed £200 million, €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.