Jun | Jul 2022

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Editor’s Comment



>> It has always been politically expedient for governments to hang the boating industry out to dry

PERHAPS WE SHOULD cut governments some slack, flailing in the wake of Covid and the hobbling of economies the world over. Tax hikes were pretty much a foregone conclusion as we emerged from the pandemic, but there’s a depressing inevitability that boating seems once again to be first in the firing line. This time its Canada falling into the trap, having just introduced a luxury tax despite the mountain of evidence that it will end up costing the government more than it will generate in revenue (see news p10).

”Those multi-millionaire boaters living the high life… are rarely the victims of such punitive tax raids”

It has always been politically expedient for governments to hang the boating industry out to dry – it took years for the US industry to recover from a luxury tax in the 1990s after more than 60,000 jobs had been sacrificed. Governments don’t seem to learn. The very notion of ‘luxury’ tax is of course a misnomer – those multi-millionaire boaters living the high life, that seem to haunt the imagination of politicians the world over, are rarely the victims of such punitive tax raids (they simply buy product in a more tax friendly regime) – it is the local dealer, the manufacturer, the SME employer and marina operator who bear the burden.

History shows that finally governments do wake up – usually within three years – and row back after the damage has been done. One can hope the Canadian government’s decision will be an isolated case, but those same history books unfortunately suggest not.

BOAT BUILDER AWARDS ARE BACK!  On a more positive note – the Boat Builder Awards are back for November 15, 2022 and we’re returning to the beautiful Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. It’s going to be bigger and more hotly contested than ever.

We’ve opened the nominations portal – so make sure you check out the new award categories and get your brand front and centre as soon as you can. Thanks to our friends at Raymarine who have joined once again as headline sponsor and our key category sponsors too, without whom we wouldn’t be able to stage what has become our industry’s signature celebratory event.

Visit IBInews.com/bba2022 for all the details and save the date!

Ed Slack | IBI Editor

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