Lunch benefit pays for itself

Tax supported lunch is an investment in Finnish employment - The benefit pays for itself. Restaurant industry in Finland benefits yearly from around 70 million euros brought up by the increased demand due to a lunch tax benefit. According to a research by Oxford Research, the lunch benefit brings 25 million euros of direct revenue to the public budget. The lunch benefit system also leads to more than 1,000 jobs created within the restaurant industry. The state invests around 17 million euros to lunch benefit yearly. 

According to the calculations of Oxford Research, tax supported lunch eating increases the whole demand within the restaurant industry by around 67 million euros. In total the tax benefit increases the tax income of the public sector by around 12 million euros and decreases the costs caused by unemployment by over 13 million euros.
The research findings of Oxford Research were published in a seminar ”Päivän puhutuin ateria – lounas työpäivän aikana, lautasellinen kasvua ja työllisyyttä” which was organized by Palvelualojen ammattiliitto PAM, Matkailu- ja Ravintolapalvelut Mara ry and Edenred Finland on October 15 in 2015. The main speakers of the seminar were Minister of Justice and Employment Jari Lindström and Christopher Wanjek, the author of the book “Food at Work” published by ILO.
– The moment which you invest in a lunch break pays for itself by increasing productivity and adding work efficiency, says Finland’s Minister of Justice and Employment Jari Lindström.
– Additionally, the lunch benefit supports restaurant industry, that is to say employment, continues Lindtröm.
Currently the tax benefit of a lunch voucher is 25 percent.
– Although the calculated losses to the tax authorities are estimated to be around 17 million euros per year, these are covered completely by the positive impact on employment within the restaurant industry. Tax supported lunch eating brings a remarkable addition to the restaurant industry’s overall demand. Therefore financially it is less expensive to hold on to the tax benefit than for example give it up, says the CEO of Oxford Research Oy Arttu Vainio.
– Due to the overall impact of the tax income received by the public sector, the society benefits from the lunch benefit over 25 million euros. Thus the net effect of the lunch benefit is according to only cautious estimations around 8 million euros on the positive. It is a social program, which pays for itself, continues Vainio.
In canteens the tax benefit can be at highest even 40 per cent. The Oxford Research report states that if also the lunch voucher’s tax benefit would be raised to 40 per cent, this would increase the employment within the restaurant industry even more.
– It is said in the report that the tax support increases the amount of lunches by around 34 000 per day. If all of these would not be eaten, this would not only affect negatively the restaurant industry and its employees, but also employees’ health and efficiency at work, says Edenred Finland’s CEO Markus Mustelin.
– Lunch break is one of the most important daily routines that contribute to the ability to work. Also the earlier research done by Taloustutkimus shows that over 80 % of the Finnish employers, employees and restaurants think that the lunch benefit system is good and cost-efficient. Lunch benefit systems exist in the form of lunch vouchers and lunch cards widely elsewhere in Europe, too. They are used in 19 EU countries, continues Mustelin.
Oxford Research was researching the macroeconomic effects of the lunch benefit on the commission of the lunch voucher vendor Edenred Finland. The whole report of Oxford Research in Finnish is found here

More information:
Markus Mustelin
Managing Director
Edenred Finland Oy
+358 40 517 5037
Arttu Vainio
Oxford Research Oy
+358 40 734 2555

Edenred Finland Oy
Edenred is the world’s leading prepaid corporate services provider, which designs and manages solutions that improve employee well-being and efficiency of organizations. Listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, Edenred operates in 42 countries, with more than 6,000 employees, nearly 660,000 companies and public sector customers, 1.4 million affiliated merchants and 41 million beneficiaries. In 2014, total issue volume amounted to €17.7 billion, of which 60% was generated in emerging markets. In Finland Edenred’s selection consists of Ticket Duo®, Ticket Lounas®, Ticket Mind&Body®, Ticket Transport®, Lounasseteli™, Virikeseteli® and Delicard. Edenred has operated in Finland since 2005. In Finland Edenred’s employee benefit cards and vouchers are accepted in over 11 000 restaurants and over 5 200 recreational places as part of their network, including R-kioski, where you can buy tickets for events.


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