Cost of living: what support is available for riders, businesses and the equine industry?

  • In this week’s Horse & Hound magazine (on sale Thursday 29 September), we take a look at the reality of the cost of living crisis and how it is impacting a number of areas in the equestrian world. In conjunction with that, we have pulled together some handy links and key headlines for riders – regardless of profession or circumstance – ahead of the winter…

    1. What’s new from the Government?

    The extent to which Government measures announced in the mini-budget will help depend on individual circumstances. The big winners are those on higher salaries, in large owing to the scrapping of the top rate of income tax (45%) from 2023.

    The full mini-budget can be seen on the Government website and the Institute of Fiscal Studies’ analysis of what it means is worth a read. In summary, these are the headlines…

    • Basic income tax cut by 1% (from 20% to 19%), which will be worth around £125/year to basic tax payers
    • National insurance 1.25% increase reversed
    • Stamp duty cut
    • No changes (as expected) to the personal tax-free allowance (the amount you can earn before you start paying income tax) of £12,570

    Similarly, how much help the Energy Bill Relief Scheme on personal and business energy bills (six months, for businesses) will be depends on your circumstances. Here are the headlines…

    2. Racing Welfare support

    The charity is there to offer advice, support and grants to those working in the racing industry that need help. It is hoping, funding dependent, to re-open the winter fuel grant this year, which helped many last winter. There is help and guidance available 24 hours a day on its website and support line – and it is really simple to check if you may be eligible for any grants. It’s also worth noting that the support net falls wider than those with ‘classic’ racing jobs. If you earn 75% of your income from a racing-connected industry, for example a feed merchants or those working in veterinary practices with a mainly racing client base, Racing Welfare is there for you, too.

    Find out how Racing Welfare could help

    3. Check you are receiving all help you are entitled to

    Charity Turn To Us has simple to use online checkers on its website, to help people make sure that they are accessing all available Government support, grants and tax breaks that they are eligible for.

    Take a look at the Turn To Us online checkers

    4. ‘Think outside the box’

    H&H recently covered ways owners, employees and grooms might be able to help mitigate spiralling prices…

    Read the ‘think outside the box’ advice offered to equestrian businesses

    5. Working from home?

    Riders working from home – whichever industry their profession is in – may find they are eligible to claim tax relief on certain household costs. It’s not going to pay for a new horsebox, but it could go some way towards the monthly feed bill.

    Find out how to claim tax relief from your job expenses

    6. Solid general advice

    The Money Saving Expert team has put together more than 90 tips and pieces of advice for saving money and ensuring you are aware of general support available. From the Government energy support packages (and how to apply), to how to claim tax rebates on uniform, a minimum wage checker – and much more.

    Take a look at the Money Saving Expert tips

    7. Industry support

    The British Grooms Association (BGA) and Equestrian Employers Association offer advice and support through their respective memberships, plus BGA also offers insurance options as part of its membership benefits.

    8. A chance to talk

    For anyone worried or who wants someone to talk to – whether about cost of living or anything else – the Racing Welfare, Grooms Minds and Riders Minds support services are always available.

    You might also be interested in:

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