Belgian government launches website on mobility budget
Minister of Work, Kris Peeters (CD&V), launched the website mobiliteitsbudget.be on Monday. Employers and employees with a company car can surf to it to find an answer to all their questions about the measure, approved by Parliament at the end of February and in force since March 1st.
Along ‘cash for car’ system
Under this, workers who return their company car receive a mobility budget in exchange. The latter, which is also available to persons who do not have a company car but are entitled to it, is fixed on the basis of the real cost of the old company car.
The system exists along the ‘cash for car’ system, which provides the possibility of exchanging a company car for a tax-free allowance exempt from social security contributions.
It is based on three pillars. In the first, the worker can exchange his company car for a more environmentally friendly or smaller model. In the second, which can be combined with the first, he has a range of sustainable mobility options: public transport, bicycles (electric, for example), electric scooters, etc., but also an intervention in rents or loan interest to finance housing closer to the workplace.
The balance remaining at the end of a calendar year can be converted into money in the third case and paid to the worker’s account. This amount will be subjected to social security contributions (38,07%) but exempt from tax.
To meet the questions employers and employees may have about the measure, Minister Peeters and his colleagues from Finance, Alexander De Croo, and Social Affairs ,Maggie De Block, both Open Vld politicians, launched the website mobiliteitsbudget.be.
The site explains the principles of the mobility budget in a simple way and offers an answer to 63 questions spread over different categories. Additional questions can also be asked via a contact form.
115.000 company cars to disappear
“There are an estimated 450.000 company cars in Belgium and once the mobility budget is at cruising speed, we expect a quarter of them – or around 115.000 – to disappear”, says Kris Peeters. According to Peeters, the mobility budget “lives with a lot of people”.
The measure aims at less congestion, less air pollution and less commuter stress. “Three birds with one stone, without charging people extra costs.”