Ireland’s cycle to work scheme gets dual ceiling raise

Ireland’s cycle to work legislation has been adjusted to enable greater purchasing power on both pedal and electric bikes.

An increase to €1,500 for electric bike purchases opens up entry-level purchases on the scheme, while traditional bicycles will enjoy the opening up of some performance spec up to €1,250. Previously the ceiling for all bike purchases sat at €1,000.

The announcement came from the Department of the Taoiseach, which made the pledge alongside a number of business grants and a reduction in VAT from 23% to 21% for six months.

Employers in Ireland are under no obligation to participate in the cycle to work scheme, though if they choose to it must be offered to all employees. Employees can participate once every five years, gaining access to tax relief on bikes and accessories, potentially saving up to 51%. Though the scheme includes electric bikes, it does not offer conversion kits.

Though no specific reason was given for the raise, it did come as part of a stimulus for the economy in the face of the Covid-19 challenge. Cycling has, across Europe, bucked the trend in transport, meeting head on the capacity loss from public transport. Others took to the roads as part of their daily permitted exercise during lockdown, with many enjoying the reduced traffic.

Cycle to work schemes are up for discussion in Cycling Industry News’ latest Trade Journal. Independent bike shops across the UK once again shared their views on everything from the commission taken to how the legislation could be improved to include a wider pool of people, including the unemployed who arguably may need access most. Genuine UK trade members can apply for a free subscription here.