Restaurant vouchers: That changes at the start of the school year
Cards, checks and travel tickets that your employer gave you to pay for your meals can now be used to pay for all your grocery purchases. With increasing daily limit.
Regarding the measures of Purchasing Power Law decided by Parliament, there is one that concerns restaurant vouchers, which are incorrectly called restaurant tickets. We will be able to use them more extensively for shopping. With also a new daily limit who passed from 19 to 25 euros.
For the record, today you can also use this form of payment to pay your bill in the restaurant than affording a sandwich at the bakery or buying groceries in the supermarket. Only in the latter case must a distinction be made at the checkout between ready-to-eat food items that are ‘eligible’ for payment with meal vouchers and all other products for which the shop has no right to accept restaurant vouchers.
Anyone can also see this by looking closely at the receipt, as the TRD notice is opposite the “eligible” products. This rule will therefore be temporarily relaxed. By the end of 2023, all grocery purchases can be paid for with restaurant vouchers.
Of course, one could ask why this Purchasing Power Act called into question the previously immaterial regulation that prohibited the purchase of eggs, butter, cream, flour, rice, onions or zucchini with restaurant vouchers…
We must first see a clientelist logic. Restaurateurs and bakers have a natural competitor: home cooking. For example, by allowing consumers to buy something to prepare at home a risotto or a zucchini quiche, the legislator will automatically give you a loss of sales. But it was also about preventing this financial subsidy, which was initially reserved for employees, from being used for anything other than enabling them to have lunch without canteens.
In addition, the interest of restaurateurs is linked to that of public finances. The addition of a brasserie lunch includes 10% VAT, whereas e.g almost all foods sold in stores, it’s only 5.5%. The financial administration is therefore very interested in ensuring that restaurant vouchers are not used for shopping.
The parliamentarians also wanted the maximum denomination of restaurant vouchers to be increased to 15 euros. But the economy minister was against it. Request too expensive.
The employer pays no social security contributions on the meal vouchers issued to its employees (unless they exceed the permissible maximum limit), and this financial support is not included in taxable income. Raising the maximum limit would therefore have increased the deficit for the state and social security.
Still, if the argument can be heard, it should be noted that this cap is far from keeping pace with inflation. In 2017, the maximum amount for a meal voucher was 10.76 euros. Five years later, it increased by only 5.7% to 11.38 euros, while in this period the price increase measured by INSEE was more than 10%.