Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (41)

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

41. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Minister for Finance the amount the cycle to work scheme costs to run; and if he has carried out a cost-benefit analysis of the scheme. [21478/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Deputy will recall that the Cycle To Work scheme came into operation on 1 January 2009. The scheme operates on a self-administration basis, and relief is automatically available provided the employer is satisfied that the conditions of their particular scheme meet the requirements of the legislation. There is no notification procedure for employers involved. This approach was taken with the deliberate intention of keeping the scheme simple and reducing administration on the part of employers.

Accordingly, the Revenue Commissioners do not have statistics on the uptake of the scheme therefore I cannot give the Deputy an annual cost.

It should be noted that the purchase of bicycles and associated safety equipment by employers for employees or directors is subject to the normal Revenue audit procedure with the normal obligations on employers to maintain records (e.g. delivery dockets, invoices, payments details, etc.). The employer is also obliged to keep all salary sacrifice agreements entered into between the employer and employees/directors, together with all signed statements from employees/ directors regarding use of the bicycles and safety equipment

It was estimated at the time of the introduction of the scheme that approximately 7,000 employees would avail of it over the first five-year period of its operation, the exemption may apply only once in any five year period in respect of any employee. However anecdotal evidence would suggest that the scheme has been considerably more successful than this and its continuation has been welcomed by the cycle business sector.

While I have not asked my officials to conduct any further specific analysis along the lines set out by the Deputy, I would advise him that all such schemes are reviewed in the context of the annual Budget and Finance Bill process.