Monday 8th November 2010

Levy Board Agrees £60m Expenditure Budget for 2011

The Levy Board agreed today that its budgeted expenditure in 2011 should be £60m.

The Board had decided at its August meeting that the figure of £70m, approved for planning purposes only, should be reviewed in November, in the light of income forecasts at that point and following the 31st October deadline for agreement, or otherwise, of the 50th Levy Scheme.

It was also decided today that the £10m of reductions should not be focused entirely on Horsemen (including prize money) and therefore that the Board’s grants to racecourses towards Regulation and Integrity should also be reduced.

The Board will next year allocate £34m to Horsemen and some £17m to Regulation and Integrity grants.

Taking into account income forecasts considered today and that the 50th Scheme has been referred to Government for Determination, the Board agreed that a downward revision of expenditure plans was prudent and appropriate. The Board continued to endorse its previously-agreed principle that budgeted expenditure for 2011 should not exceed forecast income.

On the basis of current information, the 49th Levy Scheme which runs to 31st March 2011 is forecast to yield in the region of £65m.

The allocations to the remaining heads of expenditure, such as Fixture Incentive Scheme payments, veterinary research, Racing’s training and education programmes and breeders’ prizes, will be unchanged from those already agreed as part of the budget based on £70m approved in August.

Levy Board Chairman Paul Lee said:

“It is very disappointing, but in the circumstances not surprising, that the Board has had to reduce its provisional £70m budget for 2011 by £10m. It was recognised in August that adjustments to the £70m figure would probably have to be made.

“The Board agreed that it would not be right for prize money and other Horsemen-related expenditure to bear the majority of this pain. Accordingly, the Levy Board’s contribution to Regulation and Integrity expenditure will be reduced by approximately £7m in 2011.

“The Levy Board and Racing executives will now work closely together on implementation. It remains important for levy generation that the 2011 Fixture List is maintained, notwithstanding the current difficult circumstances.”