Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Aug 16, 2012

Usain Bolt, tax resistor

It is difficult to work out whether the following article “Usain Bolt is wrong to oppose our tax laws” is satire or written by a total creature of the state.

H/t; Hey... What did I miss?

Usain Bolt became a byword during the Olympics owing to his incredible performances getting a gold medal in each of, the 100m, the 200m, and the 4 x 100m relay. What the various networks failed to mention is that he is a tax resistor. Bolt refuses to perform in Britain because of their tax laws there.

This seems to have aroused the ire of George Eaton from The New Statesman, who is outraged that someone would dare to opt out of competing there over a mere 50% cut being taken out of his prize money and sponsorship. George works himself up into a bit of a lather over his insistence that Usain would be nothing without big taxes and that not enough countries tax visiting athletes:

Bolt's objection is to a law that allows the government to take a cut of his sponsorship and endorsement earnings as well as his appearance fee, which is currently taxed at 50 per cent. For instance, were he to take part in 10 meetings worldwide, with one in Britain, the Inland Revenue would tax him on 10 per cent of his worldwide sponsorship earnings. None of which is objectionable. Without tax funded events such as those in Britain, Bolt, who earns around £10m a year, would have no platform on which to perform and, consequently, no sponsorship. Those countries that don't tax non-resident sports people, as Britain does, should do.

The law was waived for the Olympics at the behest of the IOC (one wonders if we would have seen Bolt otherwise) and the government is now under pressure to permanently suspend it. But given the revenue it would lose from those athletes who do grace us with their presence, it is understandably reluctant to do so. Instead, it is Bolt who should reverse his stance and accept that it is legitimate for him to pay a proportion of his worldwide earnings to the British government. After all, having spending £9bn on the Olympics, we could do with the money.

Bolt's management complain that "his tax liability in the UK would exceed his appearance fee". Yet if true, that is only because his sponsorship earnings are so exorbitant to begin with. In any case, is it utopian to hope that athletes might be motivated by something other than money?
Athletes of Bolt’s standard have a short time span in which to make money, before the next hopeful comes along to knock them off their perch. After that, unless they can successfully make a go of it as a coach they have to rely on declining sponsorship money while gaining another career.

This sort of carping over ‘exorbitant earnings’ is very reminiscent of the old attitude that existed before the age of professionalism during which sportsmen were expected to do it for the sport and the glory of the fatherland or whatever. It was prominent during Kerry Packer's takeover of cricket. In those days, great athletes appeared but were mainly rewarded with accolades which didn’t put much bread on the table. Today’s standards are much fairer.

No comments:

Post a Comment