30 percent more employees receiving cycling allowance
Last year, over 400,000 Belgians received an allowance for travelling to and from work by bike.
Their number is 30 percent up compared to 2011, when there were some 314,000. The measure was costing the government 50 percent more last year compared to 2011.
The figures were released by Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt after a question by Francophone green MP Georges Gilkinet.
The sharp rise can be explained by the fact that employers paying out the benefit to their staff, can claim something back from the taxman. This cost the government some 93.3 million euros, compared to 62.1 million five years ago.
The fact that the cost is rising faster than the number of cycling commuters, is due to the fact that the bicycle enthusiasts are covering longer distances. The average distance covered on a yearly basis was 944 kilometres in 2011 (roughly some 4 km per working day) compared to 1,045 km last year. The average yearly allowance rose accordingly, to 230 euros coming from 198.
Flandersnews.be / Expatica