Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of Rob Marris Rob Marris PPS (Rt Hon Shaun Woodward, Secretary of State), Northern Ireland Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether (a) his Department and (b) his Department's non-departmental public bodies provide (i) tax-free benefits and (ii) other allowances for their staff to purchase bicycles under the Cycle to Work scheme; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs) and Minister for the South East), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DEFRA offers an interest-free loan for bikes and essential equipment (CPU 5) to assist staff who wish to purchase a bicycle for travelling between home and office. Examples of essential equipment include lights; helmet; lock; pump; panniers; back pack; or waterproofs. The total loan cannot exceed £600 and is repayable over a maximum of 12 months. Casual staff and staff employed for less than three months are not eligible for this advance. An advance of salary for the purchase of a bicycle and essential equipment is classed as a beneficial loan for tax purposes.

From information held centrally we are unable to confirm arrangements for DEFRA's non-departmental public bodies.

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