Petition to cut VAT rate for playing golf

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 12, 2011 14:37

Petition to cut VAT rate for playing golf

A GCMA member and former British Women’s Open champion has launched an e-petition to reduce the rate of VAT for playing and watching sport from 20 to five per cent.

Vivien Saunders OBE, who has campaigned against VAT being applied to  the subscriptions of members of proprietary golf clubs while it is exempt from private members’ club subscriptions, set up the petition and, if she secures 100,000 signatures, it could be debated in parliament.

“There has been a real distortion of the way golfers pay for their golf,” she said. “Members of member-owned golf clubs have VAT exempt subs and don’t pay VAT. Golfers belonging to proprietary clubs or public courses pay an additional 20 per cent VAT. We have been pressing successive governments to stop this distortion, which we believe is probably illegal. This e-petition will force their hand if we can get the 100,000 signatures and a debate in parliament.

“The European Union VAT rules allow a reduced rate of VAT for admission to sports’ events and playing sport, and 16 EU countries have adopted reduced rate VAT [which in the UK is five per cent] for sport since 2006.

“All sports’ fans paying for admission to major sports’ events would benefit, as would all sportsmen and sportswomen paying green fees and membership fees to proprietary golf clubs or public courses.

“We are getting huge support – even from proprietary clubs in the Irish Republic where the reduced rate of nine per cent applies!”

The online petition, which can be found at, closes in February 2012.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 12, 2011 14:37
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  1. Alan Donaldson September 16, 07:03

    Good luck to her! There is no way the Government will allow it, but it’s needed

    Reply to this comment
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