Cycle to Work Scheme – Transfer of Ownership

The cycle to work scheme is currently a hugely popular way of enabling employers to offer their employee's the chance of obtaining a tax free bike with most people saving in the region of 40% off the cost of a bicycle and accesories. In return the employee has to enter into a hire agreement with their employees over a set period and repay the cost of the bike (Minus VAT and with tax benefits) in equal monthly payments.

However, HMRC are threatening the very existence of the scheme.

HMRC's rules mean that an employer cannot state to the employee that they will either agree to enter into discussions to transfer the legal ownership of the bike before they sign up to the scheme, thus putting people off the scheme (who is going to want to pay up to a £1,000 for a bike without the guarentee of at least being made an offer to ownership in the future)

Secondly, HMRC state that the employee needs to pay what is known as a ‘fair market value' for the bike and accessories, otherwise further tax implications will apply for the individual concerned. The only problem is that they offer no guidance on how to do this other than that you cannot apply a rate of transfer on bikes across the board.

What instead they propose is that the bike is individually assessed, what this means in practice is that this increases the administrative burden associated with the scheme increasing costs and wasting resources by over complicating the process. They give no guarentee that this complies with their vague ruling thus reducing confidence in the scheme.

By also making the process more complicated and daunting than it needs to be it also makes the scheme less attractive to individuals wanting to sign up which will simply result in less people cycling and only contributing to this country’s huge carbon footprint.

It would be much simpler if a set of nationally agreed guidelines are drafted stating that a bicycle packages’ value after a defined time period is a % figure of the bicycle packages original retail value. This would make the scheme much easier to administer and it would save a enormous amount of time and effort from for organisations administering the scheme. As I say it is not just private sector businesses that run this scheme but public sector organisations too. This is one way government could actually bring about increased efficiency in the public sector.

Why is this idea important?

The cycle to work scheme is currently a hugely popular way of enabling employers to offer their employee's the chance of obtaining a tax free bike with most people saving in the region of 40% off the cost of a bicycle and accesories. In return the employee has to enter into a hire agreement with their employees over a set period and repay the cost of the bike (Minus VAT and with tax benefits) in equal monthly payments.

However, HMRC are threatening the very existence of the scheme.

HMRC's rules mean that an employer cannot state to the employee that they will either agree to enter into discussions to transfer the legal ownership of the bike before they sign up to the scheme, thus putting people off the scheme (who is going to want to pay up to a £1,000 for a bike without the guarentee of at least being made an offer to ownership in the future)

Secondly, HMRC state that the employee needs to pay what is known as a ‘fair market value' for the bike and accessories, otherwise further tax implications will apply for the individual concerned. The only problem is that they offer no guidance on how to do this other than that you cannot apply a rate of transfer on bikes across the board.

What instead they propose is that the bike is individually assessed, what this means in practice is that this increases the administrative burden associated with the scheme increasing costs and wasting resources by over complicating the process. They give no guarentee that this complies with their vague ruling thus reducing confidence in the scheme.

By also making the process more complicated and daunting than it needs to be it also makes the scheme less attractive to individuals wanting to sign up which will simply result in less people cycling and only contributing to this country’s huge carbon footprint.

It would be much simpler if a set of nationally agreed guidelines are drafted stating that a bicycle packages’ value after a defined time period is a % figure of the bicycle packages original retail value. This would make the scheme much easier to administer and it would save a enormous amount of time and effort from for organisations administering the scheme. As I say it is not just private sector businesses that run this scheme but public sector organisations too. This is one way government could actually bring about increased efficiency in the public sector.

Change VED to insurance

Scrap VED on private cars. Introduce a basic third-party injury insurance cost based on car/risk profile.

Investigate a simil;ar approach to commercial vehicles (not so clear as I write this)

Why is this idea important?

Scrap VED on private cars. Introduce a basic third-party injury insurance cost based on car/risk profile.

Investigate a simil;ar approach to commercial vehicles (not so clear as I write this)

Switch off Motorway Lighting in Summer Months

The M1, M62, M6, M25 and no doubt many other motorways are lit, pretty much, from one end to the other.

The cost of running these lights must be horrendous, yet in the summertime we could pretty much do without them, saving both the money spent powering them for little real gain and the cost of the lamps, which would need replacing less often. Alternatively we could suppress every other lamp during the summer, thus cutting the costs by half.

Why is this idea important?

The M1, M62, M6, M25 and no doubt many other motorways are lit, pretty much, from one end to the other.

The cost of running these lights must be horrendous, yet in the summertime we could pretty much do without them, saving both the money spent powering them for little real gain and the cost of the lamps, which would need replacing less often. Alternatively we could suppress every other lamp during the summer, thus cutting the costs by half.

Reduce the luminosity and number of street lights and security lighting

Within the last ten years there has been an increase in the number of street lights erected throughout the U.K. For every one of  the  older  style sodium street light that  are   removed, three new style halogen  street lights are erected in its place.

There are a number of issues that this raises….

1. The luminosity of the new style halogen  lighting is far greater than the  sodium  style lighting. This creates nuisance on many levels . Normal residential streets have these halogen  lights on all night  the increased luminosity created by the extra number of lamp posts erected and the lumens they expend is at  a  totally unacceptable level to allow the occupants of the houses to sleep comfortably.

2. There have  not been any studies  carried out of the effects that  the  increase in luminosity has on humans,  animals,birds and insects.

3.  There has been no evidence that  the increase in street lighting has reduced the number of crimes i.e. muggings, burglary  to warrant the propensity of  street lighting and security lighting installed across the U.K . The installation of security lighting on residential dwellings are covered by planning regulations yet many domestic and commercial properties have inappropriate and excessive lighting installed that  cause nuisance and grievance to the surrounding neighbourhood.

4. The reasons given by many Local Authorities for the increase in Highways and Byeways and street lighting   is  that they are  carrying out  Government  Laws and European Directives and that the extra lighting helps to reduce crime and road accidents Both of these are lame excuses for  the excessive wastage of public money in  the production of electricity in the first place to be left burning all night at full luminosity.

5. The main reason that was put forward for changing over and   using  lower energy halogen  lighting was to reduce costs. This was to be achieved by the ability to alter the luminosity of the street  lighting to suit the environmental application . This cannot be happening if the number of street lights in cities, towns, villages , hamlets , highways and byeways has increased threefold exponentially and  all street lighting is set at full luminosity across the U.K.

6. There should be a reduction in the number of street lights erected on highways and byeways by reverting back to the previous permitted distances between lampposts. Lighting in residential areas should be set at a more acceptable lumen level that does not create discomfort and nuisance to the occupants of the dwellings. The act of reducing  commercial and domestic electric usage  and street lighting   that pollute our night sky  globally would have a significant effect on the reduction of carbon dioxide production created by the excessive production of electricity .

 

Why is this idea important?

Within the last ten years there has been an increase in the number of street lights erected throughout the U.K. For every one of  the  older  style sodium street light that  are   removed, three new style halogen  street lights are erected in its place.

There are a number of issues that this raises….

1. The luminosity of the new style halogen  lighting is far greater than the  sodium  style lighting. This creates nuisance on many levels . Normal residential streets have these halogen  lights on all night  the increased luminosity created by the extra number of lamp posts erected and the lumens they expend is at  a  totally unacceptable level to allow the occupants of the houses to sleep comfortably.

2. There have  not been any studies  carried out of the effects that  the  increase in luminosity has on humans,  animals,birds and insects.

3.  There has been no evidence that  the increase in street lighting has reduced the number of crimes i.e. muggings, burglary  to warrant the propensity of  street lighting and security lighting installed across the U.K . The installation of security lighting on residential dwellings are covered by planning regulations yet many domestic and commercial properties have inappropriate and excessive lighting installed that  cause nuisance and grievance to the surrounding neighbourhood.

4. The reasons given by many Local Authorities for the increase in Highways and Byeways and street lighting   is  that they are  carrying out  Government  Laws and European Directives and that the extra lighting helps to reduce crime and road accidents Both of these are lame excuses for  the excessive wastage of public money in  the production of electricity in the first place to be left burning all night at full luminosity.

5. The main reason that was put forward for changing over and   using  lower energy halogen  lighting was to reduce costs. This was to be achieved by the ability to alter the luminosity of the street  lighting to suit the environmental application . This cannot be happening if the number of street lights in cities, towns, villages , hamlets , highways and byeways has increased threefold exponentially and  all street lighting is set at full luminosity across the U.K.

6. There should be a reduction in the number of street lights erected on highways and byeways by reverting back to the previous permitted distances between lampposts. Lighting in residential areas should be set at a more acceptable lumen level that does not create discomfort and nuisance to the occupants of the dwellings. The act of reducing  commercial and domestic electric usage  and street lighting   that pollute our night sky  globally would have a significant effect on the reduction of carbon dioxide production created by the excessive production of electricity .

 

Single Carbon Tax at point of extraction

Let's remove all the taxes and monitoring on carbon usage and production. They're inefficient, expensive, and they don't focus where they need to. Instead, let's put a strict cap on the extraction of carbon : as coal, oil, gas, methane clathrates, ancient timber, and chalk (carbonate, used in steel production). No exemptions. Auction the extraction rights, so that the natural costs of carbon production are passed on to the customers.

Also, to enforce international cooperation, include imports from non-compliant countries in the extraction quotas. Each nation should have a tradable national quota, based on population.

Why is this idea important?

Let's remove all the taxes and monitoring on carbon usage and production. They're inefficient, expensive, and they don't focus where they need to. Instead, let's put a strict cap on the extraction of carbon : as coal, oil, gas, methane clathrates, ancient timber, and chalk (carbonate, used in steel production). No exemptions. Auction the extraction rights, so that the natural costs of carbon production are passed on to the customers.

Also, to enforce international cooperation, include imports from non-compliant countries in the extraction quotas. Each nation should have a tradable national quota, based on population.