The independent Office of Tax Simplification has recommended the continuation of the Cycle to Work tax relief scheme.
The Office said it recognised that the Cycle to Work legislation has played a key role in helping people live healthier lives, creating new cyclists. The Office of Tax Simplification has presented its findings to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and a formal response is expected as part of the 2011 Budget.
The Office of Tax Simplification was created by the Coalition Government in July 2010 to produce independent advice on simplifying the UK tax system. George Osbourne tasked it with reviewing all tax relief systems in time for the 2011 Budget.
Behavioural Impact Analysis, a report authored by the Cycle to Work Alliance, found that 76 per cent of C2W users said they would not have bought a bike if they hadn't been offered one through C2W. 87 per cent of those who cycle to work said they have noticed a direct health benefit from their more active commute.
UPDATE: Cyclescheme director Gary Cooper said: “The Office of Tax Simplification’s review confirms the popularity of the Cycle to Work scheme and its effectiveness in achieving the Government’s core objectives.
"Cyclescheme is proud to be supporting a growing culture of cycle commuting that benefits employees at all levels, has a positive environmental and public health impact, and supports Independent Bicycle Dealers (IBDs) and the local communities they serve. This is great news for the longevity of the scheme.”
Cycle to Work Alliance Representative and Head of Business Services at Halfords Keith Scott added: “We are delighted the Office of Tax Simplification has recognised the important work the Cycle to Work scheme plays in supporting the Government’s health, environment and sustainable transport policy."
Last summer the future of Cycle to Work appeared to be in flux following a rule change on the scheme by HMRC. However, C2W providers, including Cyclescheme, have maintained that the initiative is still valuable to employers, employees and participating bike dealers, issuing clarification on the ruling. This recent recommendation from the Office of Tax Simplification is likely to be seen as another positive sign for the future of C2W.