Public Bill Committee: National Insurance Contributions (Termination Awards and Sporting Testimonials) Bill: Sporting testimonials: Great Britain

Mike Wood: On the example that I think the hon. Lady was starting to give, until fairly recently Reading football club had a tradition that anybody who had played for the club for 10 years received a testimonial. It was not a contractual term, but it is difficult to see how that is anything other than expected earnings as part of employment. Is it not right that it should be taxed accordingly?

 

Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader

The problem is working out the grey areas in this. It may be the case with everybody at Reading, but if there were only one or two people in that role before who filled the same criteria and this is the third person who happens to fill the same criteria and they get a testimonial, is it the case that that could be considered customary, despite the fact that they had no expectation of the testimonial? I understand that this is only for a certain group of people who have a supported testimonial through third-party organisations, rather than through the club itself. I get that we are not discussing the widest possible definition here, but I am concerned that that particular part of the language is incredibly woolly and could have been made better so that all of us and sportspersons, clubs and third-party organisations could understand the meaning of “customary”.