More dynamic tax incentives needed to stimulate sports sector

It seems that while I wasn’t paying attention, someone privately recommended me as the press secretary of the Youth and Sports Minister.

My initial reaction was predictable. Why on earth should I give up a handsomely paid job which involves brushing shoulders with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and driving around the Fuji Speedway at a silly speed for a job which apparently requires me to pander to the thankless and selfish demands of our younger generation so that I can earn the same amount per month doing something I don’t want to do, for a party I’m not sure about, in a city where I don’t live.

However, since the announcement of Budget 2021 last week, I’ve given the matter some thought and I’ve decided that, actually, I’d like to give it a shot.

For starters, I would suggest allocations for our youths go to a fund that would be used to incentivise and finance youth-related programmes from other ministries or government agencies.

I believe all ministries should be designing policies or programmes with everyone in mind, including our youths, especially those who are now entitled to vote.

Implementing this would take, what, 15 minutes? Now, what’s left for me to do?

I suppose I should now have a look at sports. The more important half of the ministry.

Well, I’ve thought about this and decided that I will merely suggest two things to my boss – encourage private investment towards sports and drive sports consumption.

This would basically augment the sector into a lucrative commercial enterprise and consequently reduce the need for extensive government spending and intervention.

Great. But how am I supposed to get corporations to put their money into sports?

The government should look into various initiatives, including a more dynamic tax incentive programme that would stimulate greater private investments and contributions to the sports sector.

The existing tax incentive is way too little for any corporation to be aroused or fired up to invest in our sports. Furthermore, the procedure of having to funnel the funds through the National Sports Council (NSC) just simply makes the incentive less attractive and is too much work for far too little.

With greater incentives and support, corporations like Enervive would be more spirited to add to their sports investment and expand their football field business to other states outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Hence, the government need not develop and finance their own public football fields, which would inevitably be seen as a direct competition to these private enterprises.

I suppose we should all be pleased to see an increase in lifestyle tax exemption as announced in the recent budget. I particularly like this initiative. But if only the increment was a lot more whooping, things would have been more encouraging as well.

Promoting larger consumption in sports not only has a direct and positive impression on public participation in sports. It would also make sports be seen more as a revenue hub, encouraging more private corporations to enter the sector.

A more aggressive tax plan which facilitates private investment and boosts individual consumption in sports would function as an impetus for the government to ease its move towards recognising sports as an industry.

This will further reinforce industrial policies to now include sports within its thought process, thereby making sports eligible for subsidies, loans and financial assistance from private and government sources.

At the moment, none of these ideas will materialise because most of our politicians are just way too busy with their soft-soap and pandering.

And to them, when push comes to shove, the only people that really matter are those in their social group. And their children.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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