Use company car budget to renovate your house?
The Belgian Construction Confederation puts forward the idea of allocating the company car budget to the renovation or construction of a house. Employees would have the choice and the fiscal benefits would stay the same.
Legal expert Olivier Marc points out to the bargain effect it could have, particularly on young employees.
It’s not the first time politicians and groups of people have given their opinion on the issue of company cars in Belgium. Most recently, the Mobility Budget was voted and should be put up in March. A specific paragraph of this new government initiative points out that if the employee lives less than five kilometres from work, he or she can allocate part of this budget to the payment of the house rent or loan.
4,7 billion euro
According to data from the Construction Confederation, Belgian buildings have a CO2 emission rate 70% higher than the European average and 5,5 million houses represent 40% of all Belgian greenhouse gas emissions. One solution to reduce that pollution would be to insulate houses better.
“According to numbers from the Federal Bureau, company cars cost 4,7 billion euro. Part of that amount could be better invested every year”, adds the Confederation’s president, Robert de Mûelenaere.
Where the proposition could very well seduce any employee on the way to a renovation, employers could see an issue. “With a company car, the employer is giving a form of autonomy and flexibility to the employee, and that serves the company. The car is still necessary for some workers, such as those visiting clients”, explains legal expert at Acerta, Olivier Marc.
Mr Marc also sees another issue. “Young employees, who are getting a new house, could allocate their company car budget to the construction and, on the side, buy a cheap used car that pollutes more. The CO2 gain therefore becomes nihil”, adds the legal expert.