There were mostly reassuring words from the government over cycle to work in today's Budget.
Despite again signalling 'concern' about the growth of salary sacrifice schemes, the government named Cycle to Work as one health-related benefit that will continue.
"The government’s intention is that pension saving, childcare and health-related benefits such as Cycle to Work should continue to benefit from income tax and NICs relief when provided through salary sacrifice arrangements."
Chancellor George Osborne emphasised the child obesity problem in the UK while building up to a 'sugar tax' announcement. Cash generated from the levy, to be introduced in 2018, will be used for sports in primary schools. An opportunity missed for cycling? We'll let the industry mull that one over.
Fuel duty was frozen yet again and there were a number of measures that look to benefit the many small businesses that make up the cycle industry. The annual threshold for small business tax relief is to rise from £6,000 to £15,000. Buying new premises? Commercial stamp duty is being shaken up from midnight tonight (March 16th), with a zero per cent rate on purchases up to £150k, then two per cent up to £250k and five per cent over £250k.
Osborne also used the Budget statement to back Britain remaining in the European Union.
UPDATED: The Cycle to Work Alliance has, of course, welcomed the news. The group, made up of Cyclescheme, Cycle Solutions, Evans Cycles and Halfords, said it is considering the detail of "proposed changes carefully to ensure that the scheme continues to deliver benefits for commuters, businesses and government.
C2W Alliance chair and director of Cycle Solution Steve Edgell said: “This is a very welcome announcement which recognises the ongoing success of the Cycle to Work scheme, and confirms the key role that it has to play in promoting employee health and wellbeing.
“The scheme is a proven mechanism for increasing participation in cycling and achieving behavioural change. We are delighted that this has been recognised.”