Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Firms issuing meal tickets fined for creating cartel

THE ANTI-monopoly Office (PMÚ) announced that it has imposed an almost €3-million fine on five companies involved in issuing the so-called meal or restaurant tickets on February 25.

(Source: Sme)

The firms were fined for creating two cartels. The mischief consisted of dividing up the market between the companies, and of pressuring retail chains to accept a maximum of five tickets per shopping trip, as the issuers receive higher commissions from hotels and restaurants than from shops. At the same time, it has emerged that these companies created a cartel in at least eight tenders, the TASR newswire reported on same day.

It has become obvious that free competition on the meal ticket market has failed completely, according to PMÚ spokesman Radoslav Tóth. He added that it would be better to scrap the system of mandatory meal tickets handed out as part of people’s salaries.

Instead, employees should receive a direct financial contribution to their salaries, or the system should at least be made voluntary, with employees deciding for themselves whether they want to receive meal tickets or cash, said Tóth.

In their reaction the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Ministry stated that if meal tickets were scrapped, people’s interest in having meals at restaurants would fall dramatically, affecting employment in this sphere, as the face value of the coupon is higher than the employee is docked after taxes.

In addition, while meal tickets can only be used for buying food - be it in restaurants or shops - people, when receiving cash, would have less incentive to spend the money on food.

“Also, we view it as particularly interesting that the scrapping of the meal ticket system has been demanded only by certain opposition parties so far, and not by employees and their representatives,” stated the ministry, as quoted by TASR.

The Ministry also believes that if people receive cash instead of meal tickets – as was the case several years ago – they will frequently skip lunch, resulting in adverse effects on their health.

Topic: Corruption & scandals


Top stories

Námestie Slobody square closer to facelift Photo

The Bratislava city council wants to revitalise the square by the end of 2018

The winning project for revitalisation of Námestie Slobody square

Slovak hockey league will not rest during Olympics

Unlike the Slovak premiere hockey league, Swiss, German and Russian leagues will take a break during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Ice hockey is popular in Slovakia

Disputed fee for preferential treatment at doctors to be re-introduced

Patients unwilling to wait at the doctor’s office may be able to make appointments starting next year, for a fee of €50.

Waiting rooms are full of patients, illustrative stock photo

Gilden: Take the negative and make a positive from it Photo

The works of New York native, photographer Bruce Gilden, who has worked for five decades in the streets of the biggest cities, are on exhibit in the Kunsthalle (House of Arts) in Bratislava.

Bruce Gilden: Feast of San Gennero, Little Italy, 1984.