Some 1.7 million Belgian workers received part of their wages in meal vouchers last year. This emerges from a parliamentary question by the deputy, Georges Gilkinet, (Ecolo), to the federal Minister for Employment, Kris Peeters (CD&V). L’Echo is reporting on Tuesday that in total 2.5 billion euros have thus been distributed in vouchers for the purchase for “environmentally friendly” products and meal vouchers.
Taking meal vouchers first, the total amount of such vouchers paid in 2016 reached 2.2 billion euros or 10% more than in 2015. This is an increase which may be explained by the growing number of Belgians receiving this benefit, but also by the increase in the maximum total by some 7 to 8 euros per cheque for each day worked. The average total of meal vouchers for each worker thus went from 1,217 to 1,309 euros per year.
Vouchers for the purchase of “environmentally friendly” products are also increasing in popularity. These were incorporated into the wage packet of 1.58 million Belgians last year, or 125,000 more workers than in 2015, and constituted a total amount of 232 million euros.