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  • Writer's pictureThierry Devresse

The present and future of the mobility budget

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

Interview of Jef Van den Bergh by Thierry Devresse on the mobility budget.

Brussel - 19/08/2021.

Introduction

Already since 2008, Jef Van den Bergh worked on the idea of the mobility budget, which led to the creation of the federal law on the mobility budget, published in March 2019. The basic idea was that the traditional company car did not meet everyone's needs. It was necessary to create a legal framework for a multimodal, more ecological and responsible mobility, which takes into account the evolution of mobility where the individual car is changing to mobility as a service (MAAS).

This legal framework aims to provide employees with an alternative to the traditional company car. Initially there was no individual company car in the project, but it was added to meet the needs of a larger number of people. The project was included in the 2014 coalition agreement and the law was introduced in March 2019. Unlike Cash4Car, which was salary-oriented, the mobility budget is mobility-oriented.


MMBB : How quickly is the Mobility Budget accepted by companies?


Jef VdB : The mobility budget has been very well received by mobility professionals, as it meets the mobility needs of many employees and sustainable ambitions of employers. It also provides a clear and legal basis for companies creating multimodal mobility services. But too few companies today offer their employees the option of a mobility budget: by the end of 2020, only a good 1,000 employees will have opted for the mobility budget.


MMBB : Why do so few companies offer it?


Jef VdB : One of the main reasons is that Covid 19 has been prioritized above many projects, including mobility. The few companies that have implemented the mobility budget are very happy to have taken the step (editor's note: some companies have seen 80% of their employees switch to a mobility budget).

Other factors include resistance to change, the complexity of introducing the mobility budget into the company's management processes, the still limited availability of on-demand mobility services, and perhaps the perception that this project will cost money, when by definition it can be cost-neutral for the employer.


MMBB : What to do to accelerate the introduction of mobility budgets ?


Jef VdB : This year, the Mobility Budget Act proposes a number of improvements, some of which are important because they should speed up the adoption of mobility budgets by employers such as the elimination of waiting periods, a "ready-to-use" TCO formula and the possibility of treating business miles separately.

And then, in 2026, all company cars must be " zero emission" for CO2 and from then on there is no difference between the traditional company car and the mobility budget car. The mobility budget should then become the standard, because it offers more than the traditional company car without restrictions.

And in the meantime, other ideas to improve adoption will be considered. I am also sure that the range of companies offering on-demand mobility services will grow and improve. MMBB : When can we expect the new adjustments to the mobility budget law?


We are a long way from publication. Advice from the National Labor Council and Central Business Council is expected in mid-September, then Cabinet and Government (perhaps) have to make adjustments, and submit the bill to Parliament (where it has to be referred to committee, put on the agenda, discussed in one or more sessions, voted on, to plenary with discussion and final vote). I hope that everything can be done before the end of the year.

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