It’s a quick turnaround. While restrictions on the use of vouchers for shopping were to come into effect from January 1, 2024, the Minister Delegate for Small and Medium Enterprises Olivia Grégoire formalized the suspension of this project on Tuesday evening. At least for the year 2024. Guest of M6, the member of the government indicated that the current operation “will continue throughout” next year. “Good ideas must be extended. Nothing will change for the French,” added Olivia Grégoire.
A little earlier, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, already said on Tuesday that he was “favorable” to an extension beyond 2023 of the possibility of using meal vouchers to purchase all food products, saying “study” how to achieve this. Several parliamentarians and a number of users have expressed concern in recent days about the restrictions on the use of these titles which were to take place from January 1, 2024. “If inflation falls sharply and if we are (...) out of the inflationary crisis, nevertheless the increase in food prices remains very penalizing for millions of our compatriots,” argued Bruno Le Maire. Since August 2022, the use of meal vouchers has been extended to all food products, even if they are not directly consumable without cooking or preparation (flour, pasta, rice, eggs, fish, meat, etc.). But this exemption was to end on January 1, 2024.
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“Is it simple to do?”, Bruno Le Maire asked about a possible extension of the exemption. “No, because we need a legislative provision,” he noted. “We are currently studying the legislative possibilities which would make it possible to extend this right of use beyond December 31, 2023,” he continued. “As I speak to you, I do not have the legislative solution. I am telling you very simply, but I am in favor of this extension,” insisted the number two in the government. Until the exemption, meal vouchers were used to pay only for meals, ready meals, prepared salads, sandwiches (served on site or to take away) as well as fruit and vegetables or dairy products.