Fitness in Australia being tax deductible

The cost of gym memberships, gym equipment and gym clothing doesn’t seem fair at times. We spend so much money on preparing ourselves for a work-out, that when it finally comes to working out we feel both financially and motivationally drained.

There has recently been a push towards making fitness in Australia tax deductable and we would love to hear your thoughts. The argument is that there are thousands upon thousands of Australian people who are seriously harming their bodies through smoking, drinking and generally not taking care of their own health. These people end up in hospital and are getting taken care of courtesy of tax-payers money. Now, it’s a fine-line to tread, as obviously these people are ill and have the same rights as any other person in hospital, however, while healthy people spend hundreds on gym bills and keeping themselves out of hospital, the unhealthy are in hospital getting treatment for free.

The push is for gyms to be able to provide a tax report for all members who have held a membership for 12 months. Then when the tax-period comes around they can claim back these costs as part of their annual tax-return.

The idea is that those who support and look after their bodies are encouraged to keep this up, as it’s these people who will ultimately be less of a burden on the health-care system.

It takes nothing away from the unhealthy, but certainly benefits those that are actively taking care of themselves – it may also encourage more people to start working out in gyms. Those who currently feel like they can’t afford to do so will have an extra shot of motivation. And with Australia currently having the highest obesity rate in the world, this may be the push that the country needs.

About Andrew Simmons

Comments

  1. In my opinion this is probably one of. The most important decisions that could be made by any government. Obesity is such s problem that our health system will become a train wreck within the next 20 years. Some say it already is.

    Six months ago I joined Kogarah Vision PT with my son Peter, who suffers from a metabolic syndrome. He has not been able to lose one gram even though he was getting 4 personal training sessions per week. In fact I couldn’t lose a gram either, so we both joined. I have lost 22 kg and now nearly fit into my wedding pants of 25 years ago and Peter has lost 13 kg, which seems like a miracle.

    My occupation is an optometrist and the two major reasons for going blind macular degeneration and glaucoma seemed to be intimately related to poor diet and obesity and lack of fitness. This of course is an epidemic and is only getting worse. Making well-being a tax deduction is only logical after all the money the government spends in initiatives that have failed while health degeneration is only getting worse.

    Dr Jim Kokkinakis
    Optometrist

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