Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Tax break for fitness a good idea

Media Release,
4 September 2009

Tax break for fitness a good idea

New Zealandshould look at how Australiais considering a tax break for gym membership, says Les Mills New Zealand CEO Reece Zondag.

Supporting people to become more active is an obvious thing for any country to do. However, New Zealandmay need to take a different approach given its different tax structure to Australia.

Mr Zondag says one approach would be for the New Zealandgovernment to support businesses in providing health and fitness benefits for their staff, such as gym memberships.

“With fringe benefit tax on gym memberships paid for by employers up to 64%, it’s an active deterrent for many companies.” says Mr Zondag.

However membership on its own is not the ideal metric – attendance to the gym is the thing employers should look at.

“I know of some companies who do contribute to the employee’s membership, however the contribution can only be accessed if minimum attendance levels are reached” says Mr Zondag. “Almost any gym in New Zealandcould supply attendance records to employers if requested to do so”.

He says Kiwis seem to be continuing to value their personal health and fitness despite recessionary times. And equally businesses recognise that healthier employees mean less sick days and increased productivity. Put very simply ‘Fit people cost less to run’.

Australia’s Preventative Health Task Force has recommended Australians should get tax breaks if they can show they are attending exercise classes. The recommendation is one of a number aimed at promoting good health and wellbeing.

“Our goal is to have our members make the most use they can of their membership,” he says. “Our focus is making fitness fun – members just have to get through the door and we’ll ensure they get and stay active.”

Mr Zondag says he can vouch for the value of joining a gym, or team or group to improve fitness outcomes. He is one of 120 people, including many corporate teams and a celebrity team, currently participating in Les Mills Boobcamp to raise money for breast cancer research. The programme involves team exercise three mornings a week for one month. www.lesmillsbootcamp.com

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Stats: Auckland’s Population Falls For The First Time
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s population growth slowed down with Auckland recording a population decline for the first time ever, Stats NZ said today. “New Zealand saw slowing population growth in all regions... More>>



BusinessNZ: Third Snapshot Report Reveals $9.5 Billion Business Investment In Climate Action

Signatories to the Climate Leaders Coalition have committed to invest $9.5 billion over the next five years to reduce emissions from their businesses, as revealed in their third anniversary snapshot report released today... More>>

Digitl: The home printer market is broken
Printers are more of a security blanket that a serious aid to productivity. Yet for many people they are not optional.
Even if you don’t feel the urge to squirt ink onto dead trees in order to express yourself, others will insist on printed documents... More>>


Retail NZ: Some Good News In COVID Announcements, But Firm Dates Needed

Retail NZ is welcoming news that the Government is increasing financial support for businesses in light of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, and that retail will be able to open at all stages of the new “Covid Protection Framework... More>>

ComCom: Companies In Hot Water For Selling Unsafe Hot Water Bottles And Toys

A wholesaler and a retailer have been fined a total of $140,000 under the Fair Trading Act for selling hot water bottles and toys that did not comply with mandatory safety requirements. Paramount Merchandise Company Limited (Paramount) was fined $104,000 after pleading guilty in the Manukau District Court... More>>



Reserve Bank: Robust Balance Sheets Yield Faster Economic Recovery

Stronger balance sheets for households, businesses, financial institutions and the government going into the pandemic contributed towards maintaining a sound financial system and yielding a faster economic recovery than following previous deep recessions... More>>