Associations call for reform of tax benefits

Two event industry associations are planning to lobby the Government to alter the tax law for employee spend at events. The Corporate Events Association’s (CEA) newly appointed chairman Sam Gill and Mike Kershaw, director-at-large of the International Special Events Society (ISES), are hoping to see the £75 plus VAT taxable benefit increase to £100, in a bid to stimulate the events industry. "It’s been stuck at £75 for years and that amount of money cannot deliver a half-decent event of any description," said Gill. "It needs to keep up with inflation. Clients may just be spending up to the limit and are not getting a top quality event." Both associations are likely to employ a lobbyist to make the necessary approach to the Treasury. ISES recently held a reception with members of parliament to highlight the situation and Kershaw is confident the change will happen. "Especially in the current environment the hospitality and events industry needs some sort of boost," he added. Gill stressed both CEA and ISES did not expect an immediate change in the law. "This is more of a medium-term strategy and we’re therefore unlikely to see anything move in 2002. But we’re all in this for the long term," he said.

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