As if the cost of horse ownership isn't high enough, the Government proposes to introduce a "stealth tax" for all UK horse owners in the near future. Owners will be charged on the same basis as owners of farm livestock which are kept for commercial purposes. Sounds fair!
The UK government are in consultation over a proposed animal health body to deal with major animal diseases. This new government body may lead to a tax on UK livestock which will include horses and ponies. Horse owners will have to pay £10.50 per year, per horse. According to the government, this would raise more than £6.8 million per year.
So what will the money be spent on you may ask? Well its not new bridleways thats for sure!
The money will help fund this new animal health agency which will cost £56 million to set up. The idea is that this agency will manage and contain animal health diseases such as foot and mouth (which as we all know doesn't affect horses) without putting more burden on the tax payer - well the ones who don't own horses that is.
Most horses are kept for leisure and are paid for through the owner's employment which is already taxed, so in effect horse owners would be taxed twice for the up keep of their horse! Naturally horse owners are against the proposal and a new campaign has launched to help stop the tax being enforced. The 'Rethink the Horse Tax' campaign urges people who own, ride or work with horses in the UK to sign a petition to the Prime Minister objecting to the proposal.
What do you think about this proposal? Vote in our poll.
Do your bit to help prevent horse owners being taxed in the future, go to www.RethinktheHorseTax.org and sign the on-line petition.