What will change in the use of meal vouchers at the start of the school year

10:34 p.m., August 4, 2022

It is not known exactly how many French people currently benefit from it, but according to estimates, more than 4.5 million employees and self-employed people receive meal vouchers. If their face value had been increased to 38 euros during the last two years marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, it went back on July 1 to 19 euros. Many parliamentarians had pointed the finger at this backward this tool which remains an essential weapon for the wallet. But as part of the bill on purchasing power, adopted by Parliament on Thursday, their use has been reviewed for the start of the school year.

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Usable for all foodstuffs

From now on, it will be possible to use his restaurant tickets or his card to pay his bill at the restaurant or the bakery, but also in the supermarkets. Until now, it was obviously possible to pay for your lessons in a supermarket, but a distinction existed between consumable products, eligible for payment, and all other products, recalls BFM-TV
. A rule which is temporarily relaxed, at least until December 31, 2023, where the card and restaurant tickets could be used to pay for all food shopping. Before, the French had probably noticed it, but buying eggs, fresh cream, zucchini or even butter did not justify the right to the meal voucher program. It was also easy to see it on his receipt.

Why this ineligibility? Because these products described among those that are not consumable directly. The government did not want to compete with restaurants or bakeries, in a context where confinements followed one another and where “homemade” had become the leitmotif. The risk to the turnover of catering professionals was then highlighted. In addition, the interest of restaurateurs was joined by that of public finances. Because if the VAT is 10% in a restaurant, it is only 5.5% in food stores.

The ceiling reassessed at 25 euros

Another major change: the ceiling for meal vouchers will once again be revised upwards. It will not go back to 38 euros as during the Covid-19 pandemic, but will be revalued at 25 euros. In addition, parliamentarians wanted the maximum value of securities to increase to 15 euros, but the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, opposed it. An economic argument because these meal vouchers, which are given to employees, are exempt from social contributions and income tax. Moreover, to be exempt from social security contributions, “the employer’s contribution to the financing of meal vouchers must be between 50 and 60% of the value of the voucher”, recalls Urssaf. The remaining charge for employees is between 40% and 50% of the value of the ticket.

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However, if we raise the maximum ceiling, it is a loss of earnings for the State and for Social Security, recalls BFM-TV. Our colleagues have also observed that these securities do not follow inflation. The car if they were 10.76 euros on average in 2017, they are only valued in 2022 at 11.38 euros, an increase of less than 6%. However, according to INSEE, the price increase has reached around 10%. At first, Bruno Le Maire was cautious about the measure because “everything that has a significant budgetary cost, [je] look at it with great circumspection,” he said. Faced with opposition and measures for purchasing power, Bercy gave in.

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