“You have, in fact, an increase in employee participation, in a mandatory way, therefore, on the payroll, it will be felt,” recalled MP Laurent Saint-Martin.
For the right, it was a measure intended to “revalue the purchasing power of the employee“. During the debate in the National Assembly on the amending finance bill, this Friday morning, several deputies put forward a proposal aimed at “increase the value of the meal voucher“, By increasing it from 11 to 15 euros. A way to promote recovery for catering professionals, they pleaded.
In theory, the employer is free to freely set the face value of the meal vouchers provided to employees. But, in fact, “the value of meal vouchers […] is indirectly influenced by the legal limits imposed on the financial contribution of employers“, Which must not exceed 5.55 euros to be exempt from social security contributions, note the National Commission of restaurant vouchers and Bercy. In addition, the coverage by the employer must be between 50% and 60% of the value. From these limitations results a finding: “in practice, few companies grant their staff securities worth more than 11.10 euros».
In three identical amendments, members of the LR group, elected officials of the Libertés et Territoires group and the RN Emmanuelle Ménard therefore urged the government to increase “the exemption ceiling of 5.55 euros to 7.50 euros», In order to increase the maximum value of the ticket to 15 euros.
«It is obviously a support measure for the recovery of the catering sector.“, Explained Eric Woerth in public session, specifying that the employer as the employee would be free to”negotiate a lower value“. The measure would represent a boost for the “purchasing powerOf employees, commented Emmanuelle Ménard. A measurement “very simple to implement, consensual and completely virtuous, both for the beneficiary employees and the funders of meal vouchers»And restaurateurs. “This measure guarantees a mechanical increase in tax revenue (primarily VAT), as well as a positive impact on jobs created or preserved in the restaurant industry.“, Pleads the amendment of the group Freedoms and Territories.
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Measure rejected by executive and majority
But the arguments presented did not convince the executive. “If we propose this increase to 7.5 euros, this will necessarily increase, pro rata, the employee’s share […] You have, in fact, an increase in the employee’s participation, in a mandatory way, therefore, on the payroll, this will be felt“, Argued the rapporteur (LREM), Laurent Saint-Martin. The elected representative called for focusing efforts on “clearance of meal vouchers»Accumulated during the health crisis. The same goes for the Minister of Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt, who underlined the cost of such a measure, of the order of “320 million euros, at constant scope».
«It is a freedom which is left to the company, to go towards this threshold. It is by no means an obligation […] And in addition, the employee, if he does not want to participate under the same conditions, may very well not ask for as many meal vouchers as working days.», Retorted the LR Véronique Louwagie. In addition, the cost would generate positive spinoffs, especially for restaurateurs, she said. “The employee is never obliged to take the meal ticket offered to him, and he can take as many as he wishes.», Insisted Emmanuelle Ménard. In the end, the three amendments were rejected.
The meal voucher remains one of the most widespread social advantages in France. 4.5 million employees benefit from it, and their accumulation, since March 2020, has been coveted by catering and distribution professionals. The government has therefore doubled the ceiling for the daily use of vouchers in restaurants, from 19 to 38 euros, and authorized their use on Sundays and public holidays. Conditions which will remain in force “until August 31Next.
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