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Fitness Australia campaigns for tax system changes for a healthy workforce

Fitness Australia campaigns for tax system changes for a healthy workforce
October 16, 2014

Fitness Australia has launched #FITnotFBT, a campaign that aims to get Australia's tax system into shape to create a healthy and productive workforce for all Australians.

Currently, large employers who can provide fitness training services on their premises qualify for a Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemption. However, if a small business, which doesn’t have the space on-site wants to provide the same service via the local gym or a registered trainer in the local park they don’t qualify for the exemption.

Commenting on the inequity, Fitness Australia Chief Executive Lauretta Stace states "given that small to medium businesses account for 70% of the jobs, it seems perverse to have a tax incentive that excludes the majority of business owners from helping to create a healthier, more productive workforce. It’s not fair."

#FITnotFBT: Get our tax system into shape campaign proposes to expand the FBT exemption to apply to services also offered ‘off-site’.

Stace adds "expanding the FBT exemption is vitally important because 60% of Australian adults don’t get enough exercise and more than 63% are overweight or obese."

"Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths worldwide2. Conversely, physical activity is the second most important factor in disease prevention after quitting smoking.

"Furthermore, the total economic cost of physical inactivity to our economy is estimated to be $13.8 billion and the cost of obesity is $37.7 billion annually. 

"It is critical that the place where we spend most of our time, outside of our home, promotes a healthy lifestyle."

Stace concluded "#FITnotFBT is about levelling the playing field, giving all employers, regardless of size, the tools to provide a healthy workforce.

"Government has a role to play, through providing incentives to businesses to help them implement healthy initiatives."

For more information and to support the campaign visit www.FITnotFBT.org.au 

27th August 2014 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA AND PARKS AND LEISURE AUSTRALIA JOIN TO ADVANCE TRAINING IN PARKS GUIDELINES 

15th August 2013 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES EXERCISE REFERRAL KIT

20th October 2012 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA FINDINGS SHOW A HEALTHIER AND FITTER FUTURE 

26th September 2012 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA RESEARCHS MEDICAL AND EXERCISE REFERRALS

31st July 2010 - FITNESS LEADERS CALL FOR GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR WEIGHT LOSS

7th August 2009 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA LOBBIES ALP ON INDUSTRY ISSUES


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