Luncheon Vouchers, Meal Tickets and other vouchers are nothing more than a parallel currency, more vulnerable to fraud and theft. Commissions and charges on these vouchers are a private taxation by transnational companies.
Vouchers disserve the employees who are issued them as employers will exploit the "tax-free" fraction of their salaries to reduce the taxable part gained by the sale of their work (reducing this counterpart and making savings on state taxes).
In the long term, employees will suffer from insufficient funds to finance the benefits they are promised today.
In the short term, commerce will either up prices or axe jobs to recover their charges and voucher beneficiaries will lose out as consumers, either by higher prices or longer waiting queues. Commerce, and especially selected retail chains under private contract, benefit from captured income as this "money" can't be spent on other goods. Small commerce becomes financially vulnerable and more likely to fail or franchise to brands detained by these same international companies who also propose concurrent services, playing off one against the other, such as canteen services versus meal tickets, all are, in the long run, prejudicial to jobs.
Only shareholders of these transnationals (global investment funds in most cases) profit from unpaid taxes, whatever the country, which would otherwise serve to finance infrastructures, education and redistribution of wealth to the poorest citizens.
This is simply unsustainable but voucher companies "paint themselves green".
Why are states still endowing these companies with favourable conditions to mint their own money?
Interesting point. Libertarians such as von Mises and Rothbard have always supported the privatisation of money (i.e. letting banks, corporations and/or state governments print their own currency and may the strongest win). It was always considered an fringe idea - but clearly it is closer to the mainstream if you count vouchers in it.
It hasn't been considered 'union business' to defend the state monopoly of money - but perhaps we should start thinking about it. A campaign that says 'pay means dollars' might seem tautological - but Andy's case shows it isn't.
I wrote this after reading this piece in Forbes India. Retail chains are apparently refusing high "taxation" from these transnationals. Any Indian unionists on here to give an opinion from an employees point of view?
Here in France, the tax-and-social-contribution-free-part of meal tickets is 5.40 Euros per day or 113,40 € for an average 21 workday month. More than 10% of monthly net minimum wage. We can also get holiday vouchers and many other forms of vouchers through works committees, all tax and social contribution free representing up to a 13th month of pay.
Considering that the economy consented to employers is not "free" at all but in the long-term, "stolen" from state-run differed incomes such as sickness and retirement pensions, workers will obviously suffer. Missing contributions on a 13th month of pay represent a potential of something like 8% on later yearly income.