Cycle to school made easier for teachers

Cyclists in Dublin

Teachers will have easier access to the cycle-to-work scheme after complaints on how the system worked last term.

When the matter was raised as a written Dail question, Dublin South East Labour TD Ruairi Quinn asked why secondary school teachers only had a two week period to apply for the tax relief scheme. The Tanaiste and Minister for Education Mary Coughlan rejected this, saying “teachers had in excess of a period of two months within which to apply for the scheme in order to avail of it in 2010.”

This week the department published a revised circular for schools with an extended application period.

“While the 2010 scheme closed to applicants in January, half way through the school year, the 2011 scheme will allow for applications for the majority of the school year,” the Department of Education said.

It added: “The Tanaiste said that the Cycle to Work scheme is proving increasingly popular and that she would continue work on making the scheme as flexible and accessible as possible to teachers, special needs assistants, clerical officers, caretakers and child care workers paid on payrolls operated by her Department.”

The cycle-to-work scheme has been credited as one of the main measures which has increased the levels of cycling in Dublin. The benefit-in-kind tax exemption allows for up to €1,000 to be spent on a bicycle and safety equipment and for an employee to pay this off over time out of their salary.

ATTACHED: Cycle to work scheme circular_46-2010 (Word doc)

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