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Meal tickets valid for one year
The validity of lunch vouchers in Belgium will soon be increased from three months to one year. The law, passed a few months ago by the commons, has just been published in the Belgian Official Journal, the union for the middle classes (UCM) announced in a statement yesterday. The new law will come into effect on August 11. More than 250 million lunch vouchers are issued every year in Belgium; between 0.3 and 0.4% of them are not used because their validity has expired. This represents a loss of €10m, the UCM says. According to employment minister Monica De Coninck, the annual loss is closer to €5m, out of a total amount of €1.8bn spent in 2011, representing 0.32% of the total volume. The extension of the term of validity is "a step in the right direction," says the UCM’s Jean-Pierre Christiaens. He does, however, calls for a generalisation of electronic meal tickets, which are "more reliable, more environmentally friendly and more cost-efficient." A few months ago, several parties have expressed support for putting an end to the lunch voucher system, suggesting that the corresponding amount be paid directly into the employee’s bank account instead.