The figures were released by Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt after a question by Francophone green MP Georges Gilkinet.
The sharp rise can be explained by the fact that employers paying out the benefit to their staff, can claim something back from the taxman. This cost the government some 93.3 million euros, compared to 62.1 million five years ago.
The fact that the cost is rising faster than the number of cycling commuters, is due to the fact that the bicycle enthusiasts are covering longer distances. The average distance covered on a yearly basis was 944 kilometres in 2011 (roughly some 4 km per working day) compared to 1,045 km last year. The average yearly allowance rose accordingly, to 230 euros coming from 198.