Meal vouchers make food more expensive for hundreds of thousands of Czechs, and those who do not “fake” it pay extra. The unions are wrong


Many employees could from next year receive money instead of meal vouchers. Governmental tax package
pro year 2021 supported by the Committee on Budgets last week. The proposal goes to second reading this week

The Ministry of Finance wants to offer employers to place meal vouchers they gave employees untaxed money straight away. Of course in an appropriate amount, i.e. in a limited amount. This is the so-called meal voucherwhich is part of the aforementioned tax package.

if meal voucher
the flat rate eventually passed, the consumer rate would increase elections. And that ultimately testifies economy as a whole, because each person knows best what to do with his own money. Whether to spend them on food in a restaurant or for something else. Against, however, are, for example, unions who do meal voucher
they do not want, but also some restaurants.

Existing system meal vouchers however, it leads to serious market distortions and injustices. The proposal of the Ministry of Finance is unfavorable news mainly for
meal vouchers companies. In general, however, its implementation would not cause significant damage, as the business of these companies does not bring any significant benefits from a societal perspective. In fact, they only fill the space artificially created by the relevant legislation and economy would easily do without them. In addition, the four fundamental injustices and market distortions that would meal vouchers cause.

First. Meal vouchers
companies they basically live off commissions. Those that they receive from store operators such as Billa, Albert, Coop or convenience stores and, of course, from restaurants that accept food vouchers. Restaurant operators and store managers are in shift meal vouchers for the money does not receive from
meal vouchers companies the entire digit value of the coupon, but the amount reduced most often by five to six percent.

However, many restaurants and shops still pay off meal vouchers as they increase their own turnover and they can make up for losses by raising prices. The existence of valuable food vouchers therefore creates unnecessarily distorting inflationary pressures, primarily in the hospitality and food retail sectors.

Second. Higher prices in the restaurant are often forced to pay even those who meal vouchers from their employers. There are about a million of these employees in the Czech Republic, while for meals provided by the employer – whether in form meal vouchers or canteens – rely on over three million Czech employees. On meal vouchers can therefore be seen as shifting wealth from those who do not have this benefit to those who do, and also, of course, to meal voucher companies. When shifting wealth from one to another meal voucher companies, in short, some of it “stays by the nails”.

Third. In practice, it is very difficult to get for meal ticket back cash. This leads to inefficient consumption or purchase, which is done only to make stravenka took full advantage. With the advent of electronic meal vouchers Although this disadvantage is eliminated,meal vouchers used by only about every tenth fascinating employee meal vouchers. And they can only be used in some restaurants. Businesses still predominate, where one is more likely to succeed meal voucher paper. If proponents meal vouchers they express a touching care of hot food in the diner’s stomach, which they would be there without meal vouchers did not end with such regularity, it is possible to draw a similar – and also similarly smiling and misleading – argument. Because people try to take advantage meal vouchers in full, they eventually consume more than they would have to, therefore meal vouchers contribute to the development of the obesity epidemic in the Czech Republic.

Fourth, from the point of view of the employer, it is advantageous that thanks meal vouchers save on levies on
medical a social insurance, as it pays non – cash employees diet
not subject to dani from income. On the other hand, they have to reckon with higher administrative costs for the operation meal vouchers they accompany.

An ordinary citizen who has a benefit in the form of meal vouchers so at first view he gets something very advantageous. However, in the second, third, more detailed view, he takes this advantage for granted, because, as is well known, “no lunch is free” and even food does not fall from heaven. However, higher prices in restaurants and shops or a certain impracticality of valuable vouchers are so inconspicuous “scarecrows” that few people deal with them. In addition, the turnover of several meal voucher generates the daily consumption of hundreds of thousands of employees. At such a ratio – units to hundreds of thousands – all the negatives of food vouchers spread out in society like margarine for morning bread.

Meal vouchers companies in the whole tangled cycle he wins on the whole line: from meal vouchers on the peg national machinery. Let’s admit the color for them. If contributions
employer on meal vouchers they will not be from
of the law tax deductible expense, will most likely not exist either
meal vouchers companies. It is therefore logical that they are the ones who shout the loudest, when the government is now thinking about the system meal vouchers will amend. That would be a good move. Although the ideal solution for virtually everyone would be meal vouchers cancel. In fact, it would enrich us all.

Lukáš Kovanda, Ph.D.

National Economic Council of the Government (NERV)

Chief Economist, Trinity Bank

See also:
Most of us support the meal voucher – Restaurant representatives write to the deputies


Trinity Bank has been operating on the financial market for 25 years and was established through the transformation of the Moravian Monetary Institute – a savings cooperative. It has almost 25,000 clients and its balance sheet total exceeds CZK 18 billion.

Trinity Bank specializes in private and corporate banking, with individuals focusing primarily on deposit and savings products that offer above-standard savings.

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