Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Contentious tax still giving Letta headaches

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)

Rome, May 10 - A decree suspending summer payments
on the unpopular IMU homeowners' tax should be put forth in the
middle of next week, government sources said following a summit
with the whips of the parties supporting Enrico Letta's
government.
The government was expected to approve the decree in a
cabinet meeting Thursday, but issued a statement instead saying
it would happen "in the coming days".
Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi called Thursday's decision 'a
nice victory but not enough'.
The center-right leader, whose People of Freedom (PdL)
party occupies prominent seats in the fledgling left-right
coalition government, made abolishing IMU and refunding
taxpayers a central platform of his campaign ahead of February
general elections.
He has threatened to pull his party's support and sink the
government if it does not meet his demands.
Letta has agreed to "revising IMU" and suspending June
payments in the meantime.
The decree scheduled to be launched next week will suspend
IMU taxes from June to September, as well as slash them by half
compared to 2012 payments, government sources said.
The delay and discount applies only to the IMU on first
homes, however, while tax on commercial real estate and
holiday homes remain in place.
Italian industrial employers' confederation Confindustria
and the OECD have said reducing labour taxes to help fight
record levels of unemployment should be a higher priority for
Letta's government than scrapping IMU.
IMU was instituted among a series of austerity measures
under former premier Mario Monti's emergency technocrat
government to restore health to Italy's public finances drained
by the euro crisis, which helped bring down Berlusconi's
government at the end of 2011.
Abolishing IMU and reimbursing the 2012 revenues from it
would create a hole of around eight billion euros in this year's
budget.
Nevertheless, the House whip from Berlusconi's PdL on
Friday vowed that the tax will be scrapped.
"It will be abolished," said Renato Brunetta exiting a
summit with the whips from the parties that support Letta's
government.
Brunetta, the former civil service minister under
Berlusconi, said the PdL "had absolutely not ceased its call to
refund IMU payments".

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