Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Ceisteanna (262, 263)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

262. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department has considered extending the cycle-to-work scheme to self-employed persons and those who self-access their taxes; the estimated cost of such an extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7772/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

263. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his Department has considered increasing the allowance under the cycle-to-work scheme for those purchasing e-bikes; the estimated cost of such an extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7773/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 and 263 together.

As the Deputy is aware, tax policy generally and tax incentives, such as the tax exempt benefit of kind under the Bicycle-to-work scheme, are matters for the Minister for Finance in the first instance.

I am very supportive of the Cycle to Work Scheme, which is a tax incentive aimed at encouraging employees to cycle to and from work by allowing for beneficial tax arrangements in respect of the purchase of a bicycle and certain related cycling equipment. Under this scheme, employers may agree with their employees to operate a cycle to work scheme under a salary sacrifice arrangement. Participation in the scheme is voluntary but, where offered by an employer, it must be made available to all employees and directors. The scheme applies to new bicycles and pedelecs (electrically assisted bicycles which require some effort from the cyclist) and also includes the purchase of certain new safety equipment.