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Shop occupancy rates improve despite cost-of-living crisis

30 Jan 2023

The number of shops lying vacant on British high streets fell during the final three months of 2022, despite pressure on both companies and consumers from the rising cost of living.
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Bike Europe has reported Halfords’ financial statement demonstrating that cycling sales have dropped to pre-covid levels.

18 Jan 2023

The article reports that, in 2021, Halfords saw its annual cycling sales double and stocks dry up. However, by the middle of 2022, it says, warning signs were appearing as inflation and supply... Read more…

Seaside town bucks the trend with indie retail thriving

16 Jan 2023

Weston-super-Mare seems to be one town in the UK bucking the national trend, with new shops opening and businesses reporting an increase in trade, according to a report by Bristol Live.
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Indie bookshop numbers hit 10-year high in 2022 defying tough retail climate

16 Jan 2023

The number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland climbed to a 10-year high in 2022, as the book trade defied the odds in an otherwise tough year for high street retailers.
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New King’s banknotes to enter circulation by mid-2024

12 Jan 2023

New banknotes featuring King Charles are to enter circulation by mid-2024. The King’s portrait will appear on four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20, and £50).... Read more…

Government scales back energy bill support for businesses

12 Jan 2023

The government has announced it is to scale back support for businesses and their energy bills after warning that the current level of help was too expensive.
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Sector expertise and user experience counts when it comes to retail finance

10 Jan 2023

With retail finance schemes remaining a preferable route for retailers to boost sales during recession than the financial hit required by heavy product discounting, the Association of Cycle... Read more…

Portugal becomes first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year

10 Jan 2023

Portugal has become the first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year, from 23% to 6%.
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One in three responds to Big Bike Revival to use bike for one in two journeys previously taken by car

9 Jan 2023

Cycling UK says that its Big Bike Revival programme, which encourages people to get unused bikes out of their garages and sheds and start using them for everyday trips, has led to a third of... Read more…

Busiest year yet for TfL’s cycle hire scheme

9 Jan 2023

Transport for London’s (TfL) cycle hire scheme saw more bikes hired during 2022 than any other year in the scheme’s history, with 11.5 million rentals across the year.
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Portugal becomes first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

Portugal has become the first EU country to cut VAT on bicycle purchases this year, from 23% to 6%.

Cyling on bridge

The move comes 12 months after new EU legislation permitted such changes, and Portugal sees it as part of a bid to boost cycling to 10% of all trips by 2030. The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) estimates customers will save up to €300 on a €2000 ebike if retailers and suppliers pass savings on to customers.

The move is a major advocacy success for ECF’s Portuguese member organisations, together with the country’s bicycle industry association ABIMOTA. For MUBi, which advocates, encourages, and demonstrate the benefits of urban cycling, it was one of six priority points for their campaign on cycling-friendly measures.

Rui Igreja from MUBi said: “We are very happy that, after dozens of meetings, the Portuguese Parliament has listened to MUBi’s arguments for reduced VAT rate on bicycles. The reduction from 23% to 6% will make pedelecs and cargo bikes more accessible. These have a high potential to substitute daily car trips, but their high price tag has been an obstacle to their adoption in Portugal. The yearly cost of this measure will be lower than what the current duty reduction on road fossil fuels costs per week. Besides, unlike motorised vehicles, cycling generates significant positive externalities, namely in terms of public health, which largely outweigh the costs of the VAT reduction.”

At a European level, the potential to reduce VAT rates on supply, rental and repair of bicycles, including e-bikes, was opened when the corresponding legislation entered into force in April 2022. ECF had advocated for this possibility in a joint campaign together with the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI), and supported by Cycling Industries Europe (CIE). After the change in the legislation, the three organisations together supported their respective members in their national advocacy efforts, which now have borne fruit for the first time.

The cycling sector now looks to other EU countries joining Portugal in making bicycles more accessible for citizens through VAT reductions.

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