Bike to work scheme should be extended to schools – Labour
Labour spokesperson on Climate Senator Rebecca Moynihan has called on the Government to deliver Labour’s Cycling Package in Budget 2024.
Encouraging active travel is central to reducing emissions and the number of cars on our roads. Labour’s Cycling Package is a comprehensive set of proposals which can be taken in the budget that would make it easier for people to cycle to work, school, and other destinations.
Delivering this tax package, along with funding local authorities to deliver active travel infrastructure, would be a major step in the right direction in terms of reducing emissions and tackling traffic congestion.
The five main proposals in Labour’s Cycling Package are:
- Bring in zero rate VAT on bicycles, e-bikes and safety equipment.
- Expanding the bike-to-work scheme to parents purchasing bikes for their children: This would make it easier for parents to get their children to school by bike, which would be good for the environment and their children’s health.
- Expanding the bike-to-work scheme to those who are self-employed: This would make cycling more affordable for self-employed people, who are currently excluded from the scheme.
- Introducing a car scrappage scheme for those who trade in old cars in exchange for e-bikes and cargo bikes: This would encourage people to switch from cars to e-bikes and cargo bikes, which are more environmentally friendly and efficient.
- Expanding the City Bike Scheme to five new towns: This would make it easier for people in new towns to get around without a car.
Senator Moynihan said:
“Labour’s Cycling Package is a comprehensive set of proposals that would make it easier for people to cycle to work, school, and other destinations”
“According to Eurostat, Ireland had the largest increase in emissions in the EU last year, one of just four countries to increase emissions annually. Fundamental change is needed to achieve our emissions reduction targets. Delivering Labour’s Cycling Package would be a major step in the right direction.”
“The Government has also committed to increasing the number of people cycling and walking. Labour’s Cycling Package would help the Government to achieve this target by making cycling more affordable, accessible, and safe for everyone.”
Costing and further proposals
- Zero rate VAT on bicycles, e-bikes and safety equipment. €17.6m
- €250 bicycle grant through Department of Social Protection Additional Needs Payment. €5m
- 50 cent subvention per trip for city bike schemes. €2m
- Introduce a new ‘Cycle to School’ tax scheme. €1.4m
- As an interim measure extend short hop zone to Newbridge,
South Kildare and Drogheda until the new National Fares Strategy is implemented.
- New investment for public transport and active travel projects. €50m
- Expansion of public City Bikes and new City e-bikes scheme. €26m
- €3,000 Cargo or E-bike grant through car scrappage scheme. €25m
- Make public transport fully accessible over ten years for people with disabilities (first year funding – capital). €21m
- Alternatively-Fuelled Heavy Duty Vehicle (AFHDV) Purchase Grant Scheme €2m
- Seed funding for Community Cargo Bike clubs €1m
- Increase EPA allocation for monitoring water quality €2m