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House of Commons DCMS Oral Questions 28 May 2019

“Horseracing can make a significant contribution, not just to our sporting life but also to our broader communities life”

Racing Together Community Day was highlighted in Thursday morning’s exchange in the House of Commons at DCMS Oral questions in response to Conor McGinn’s question: What assessment he has made of the contribution of horse racing to (a) social, (b) cultural and (c) economic life.

Watch the exchange in the short clip below:

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Or you can read the transcript of the conversation below:

Jeremy Wright: Our world leading horseracing industry employs over 17,000 people and contributes around £3.5 billion to rural economies across Britain each year. The Government supports British racing and our reforms to the Horserace Betting Levy have established a firm financial basis to support the sport.

Conor McGinn: Like many members across this House, I support our fantastic sport and our fantastic British horseracing industry, but the sport does face challenges. Given the yield from the levy is £17 million less than forecast, what measures will he and Government take working with British horseracing to ensure its long term financial sustainability.

Jeremy Wright: The levy receipts this year will be lower than expected but of course he will recognise that last year there was a very substantial increase because the Government reformed the levy in order to bring offshore bookmakers into scope. That was an important change to give the industry a broader and more substantial financial base. But of course we will look at the future changes to the levy that may be appropriate to deal with any change in circumstances, but I think it is right to allow the changes we made last year to bed in. We will discuss with him and the APPG what further changes might be appropriate.

Laurence Robertson: Is the Secretary of State is aware of the recent Racing Together Community Day, and does he agree that with 60 racecourses across the country horseracing has a wonderful opportunity to reach out to very many people, including children and people at school, and can he help us support that action?

Jeremy Wright: He’s right, horseracing can make a significant contribution, not just to our sporting life but also to our broader communities life. It is important that young people understand the sport and understand horses, and any opportunity that the industry can do to support that we welcome.

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