Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

House finance committee head says slashing IMU cheap

English
© ANSA

Rome, July 8 - The head of the Italian Lower House
finance committee on Monday thumped for slashing government
spending to meet centre-right demands to scrap an unpopular
property tax and to halt the rise of Italy's value added tax
(VAT), which currently stands at 21%.
"Simple things exist, even in the complexity and in the
confusion of the current political phase. There are two
commitments that would do good for this country, that will good
to the Italian economy, that will benefit the popularity of this
government and that, last but not least, cost relatively
little," said Daniele Capezzone, a 40-year-old MP from Silvio
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party.
"It has to do with the total abolition of the IMU (property
tax) on the first home and on agriculture, and sterilizing the
VAT increase. Together, for 2013, they cost six billion euros,
and that is, compared to 800 billion euros in annual national
public spending, barely 0.75%, or a 1/133 fraction of the
mountain of (total) public spending. Is it possible that we are
not capable of cutting public spending (by an amount)
corresponding to this measure that is basically so modest? If it
is useful, or if someone is interested, I have at least three
hypotheses for coverage ready - obviously realized through
spending cuts...On all of this, pacta sunt servanda" he said,
citing the Latin phrase meaning, "agreements must be kept".
Scrapping the IMU was a key pledge for the PdL, led by
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, and was behind his surprising
comeback in February's general election.
The PdL has since staked its political reputation on
eliminating the IMU tax on primary residences, making its reform
or elimination a divisive issue that threatens the survival of
Italy's unprecedented right-left government.
On Friday, PdL Senate Whip Renato Schifani urged his
centre-left counterparts to denounce international support for
the property tax, which would require four of the six billion
euros of coverage cited by Capezzone.
The International Monetary Fund said last Thursday that
Italy cannot afford to lose the billions in euros that are now
generated by IMU.
Echoing the IMF, the chief economist and deputy
secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD), Pier Carlo Padoan, said Friday the
government should keep the IMU.
He suggested that property taxes are the least likely to
dampen economic growth compared with payroll and other labour
taxes that should be cut to boost Italy's recession-plagued
economy.

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