Ireland Active is the representative body for leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools and commercial sports facilities in Ireland.

The sector employs approximately 12,000 people in roles such as lifeguards, swim teachers, fitness instructors, sports coaches and operational staff.

Ireland Active is conscious of the many demands that the government has when it comes to the Budget. To that end, we are once again suggesting a number of ways in which the government can continue to support physical activity in Ireland.

It is important to reaffirm that the Leisure, Health and Fitness sector is the engine room in communities across the country, driving levels of physical activity across all age groups each week. It is a key component of the sport and physical activity ecosystem and rising energy costs and taxation pose a threat to the viability of the essential services our sector provides.

 Ireland Actives priorities for Budget 2024 are:

1. Targeted measures of energy subsidy supports to ensure the viability of Sports facilities

2. Overhaul of The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS)

3. Tax-driven incentives for personal exercise

4. Reduction of VAT rate for participation in Personal Exercise and Swimming

5. Inclusion of Fitness Professionals /Swim Teachers /Lifeguards in flat-rate uniform expense allowances

The measures outlined above would ensure that leisure health & fitness operators continue to provide facilities to local communities throughout the country, enabling the programme for government, National Sports Policy and boosting the health of the nation.