Thanks to Nick Harvey and his official BikeWeek magnifying glass, BikeBiz.co.uk can reveal that the needs of cyclists - or, more specificially, what is put into their stomachs - is right up there with the funding of the Iraq war in the chancellor's mind.
Blink and you'll miss it, but here's the crumb we were handed yesterday:
Meals for those taking part in cycle to work days
The requirement to report a benefit in kind when an employer provides a meal or refreshments as an incentive to employees to participate in cycle to work days was removed with effect from 6 April 2002. The legislation limits the number of occasions on which an employer can provide meals or refreshments to 6 a year. It is planned to remove this limit. The criteria setting out when these meals or refreshments can be provided tax free remains unchanged i.e. that they have to be provided as part of official cycle to work days.
Nick Harvey said:
"I welcome the news that employers will be able to provide unlimited free meals and refreshments for cyclists participating in 'official' cycle to work promotions, by which I presume Gordon Brown means under the 'Bike2Work' banner!
"Bike2Work is one of the most important components of Bike Week (14-22 June 2003).
I shall be recommending to the Bike Week Steering Group that next year we promote Bike2Work separately from Bike Week, so that employers - Local Authorities in particular -can use our copyright logo and branding at other times of the year. In practice, this could lead to 'Bike2Work' days being run every month, even every week, if there is sufficient local interest and demand."
The new BikeWeek website is now up and running and accepting self registration of organisers and events for this year's event. The backend database for http://www.bikeweek.org.uk was created by Si Watts of siwis.co.uk