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One in 300 lunch vouchers goes to waste
Lunch vouchers worth a total of €35m were either lost or unused by Belgian employees between 2007 and 2011, Le Soir reports today, quoting figures from the ministry of employment. Wild figures had circulated in recent years about the number of ‘wasted’ meal tickets, with commerce and services federation Comeos speaking of tens of millions of euros going to waste every year and Flemish Christian-democrat party CD&V quoting an guesstimate of €10m. The official 2011 figure of €5m lost out of a €1.8bn represents 0.32% of the total volume of lunch vouchers issued. The waste percentage is higher for eco-cheques, however; € 4.7m was lost out of €218m issued. The amounts ‘lost’ go back to the issuing companies, Sodexo and Ederend. The recent introduction of electronic cheques should reduce the loss rate. In April, three Flemish parties announced they were in favour of ending the meal-ticket system, proposing that the equivalent money be paid directly into employees’ accounts instead.