More often to work by (electric) bicycle
The number of people that cycle to work and get a bicycle allowance increases year after year in Belgium. This year almost 550.000 people declared in their tax declaration for the income year 2018 to have received an allowance, compared to 432.000 for the income year 2016. Figures from the administration of Finances show that.
137,9 million euros
In 2016, these employees received an average of 233 euros on top of their wages, which had already been raised to 252 in 2018. This is because the bicycle allowance rose from 0,22 to 0,23 euros per kilometer (and next tax year to 0,24 euros).
Another reason is the number of kilometers traveled that increased from 1.058 to 1.146 per employee per year. This accounts for 137,9 million euros in bicycle allowance in total.
The sharp increase is explained by the success of the electric bike, especially the faster speed pedelecs, which since the end of 2017 have been entitled to a bicycle allowance.
This increases the manageable distance for employees who choose the bicycle to commute. For example, today there are 40.000 leased company bikes in Belgium, while the phenomenon was non-existent hardly two years ago.
In reality, a lot more employees cycle to work, but not all companies are offering a bicycle allowance, while they do have an offer of ‘salary cars’ for their workforce. “It is clear that the bike allowance is the instrument to encourage more people to cycle to work,” says MP, Jef Van den Bergh (CD&V), who asked for the figures. CD&V, therefore, argues in favor of extending the system.
“The company where you work shouldn’t be the factor that determines whether or not you are entitled to a bicycle allowance. We want to change this and advocate for a generalization of the bicycle allowance.”