The government this Friday proposed to public administration unions an increase in the sale price of the meal subsidy to be provided in canteens to workers of public services and bodies, from the current 4.10 euros to 4.90 euros.

"The selling price of the standard meal to be provided to public administration workers in canteens of services and bodies of central and local government, as well as public institutes that have the nature of personalised services or public funds, is set at €4.90 (four euros and ninety cents), including value added tax," the proposal to which Lusa had access reads.

The price had not been updated since 2012, according to the leader of the Federation of Public Administration and Public Purpose Entities Trade Unions (Fesap), José Abraão told Lusa. "Still, I do not think it is the right time to update the price, at a time when inflation is enormous and people have less money," argued the union leader.

José Abraão recalled that the food subsidy for public administration workers was increased "by only 43 cents" this year, to 5.20 euros, while the proposed increase in the price of the meal is 80 cents. In other words, the increase in the meal subsidy falls short of the proposed increase in the value of the meal.

The Government's proposal, presented to the most representative unions of public administration workers at meetings this Friday in the Ministry of the Presidency, in Lisbon, also sets the price of meals to be paid by public administration pensioners at 2.45 euros.

According to José Abraão, at the meeting, the Government informed that the social services of the public administration serve 635 thousand meals per year, which means that the increase of 80 cents of the meal for workers will give around 500 thousand euros per year, "an amount that the State or the services should bear at a time like this".