Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018

Economy minister defends new budget amid criticism


Rome, October 23 - Italian Economy Minister
Vittorio Grilli on Tuesday spoke out in defence of a new budget
proposal currently before parliament amid ongoing criticism of
the measures.
Grilli said the so-called Stability Law was set to benefit
99% of taxpayers, with those with the lowest income seeing the
biggest advantage as a result of reductions in income tax in the
two lowest bands.
The measures would translate into ''an average benefit of
160 euros per capita'' and therefore into greater disposable
income and personal spending power as a motor for growth, the
minister told a parliamentary hearing.
Concerning the decision to raise VAT, ''those who avoid
paying income tax cannot avoid paying IVA and this is a further
element of equity,'' Grilli said.
The new budget contemplates raising two VAT levels
respectively from 10 to 11% and from 21 to 22%, affecting 50% of
goods and services according to the economy minister but 80%
according to the national statistics agency Istat.
President of Italy's Audit Court Luigi Giampaolino instead
told the House Budget Commission on Tuesday that the bill is
unfavourable to taxpayers in the lowest income brackets, namely
the 20 million Italians who declare up to 15,000 euros a year.
Giampaolino also warned of the danger of hikes in property
and local municipal taxes.
Pier Luigi Bersani, Secretary of the centre-left Democratic
Party (Pd), distanced himself from the proposals, saying ''to us
it does not apear that 99% of citizens stand to gain'' and
calleing for the bill to be modified.
Italian trades unions Cisl and Uil hailed the planned
reduction in income tax but said more needs to be done
particularly in terms of reviewing the proposed rise in VAT and
cuts in tax breaks.
The Stability Law was approved by the cabinet last week and
is about to begin its long journey through parliament.
Premier Mario Monti has said he is willing to reconsider
elements of the bill on condition that the final balance remains

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