Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018

Saccomanni says tax-cutting is long haul operation


(By Emily Backus)
Rome, July 25 - Italy's battle to lower taxes will
be a long one and spending cuts will be needed to win it and
deliver quality public services more efficiently, Italian
Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said Thursday.
Saccomanni told the Senate finance commission that there
was ''ample room'' to slash waste and still provide Italian
citizens ''high quality'' public services.
At the same time, the minister urged tax-cutting - for
workers, businesses, and as a whole - as an enduring priority,
sayinf it must be supported by the fight on tax-evasion.
Italy has raised taxes in recent years as various
administrations have grappled with an outsized public debt, a
tax-base weakened by years of recession and crisis brought on by
spiralling interest rates in 2011 and 2012.
''To support economic recovery and a prospect of
sustainability for the country, as well as restructuring the tax
burden, we must flank (these initiatives) with spending
rationalization,'' Saccomanni said on Thursday.
The minister added that spending cuts were a ''necessary
condition for a permanent and meaningful reduction of the tax
Saccomanni explained that progress made with previous
spending cuts must be combined with new rationalization of
public expenditures to carry out ''a significant rethinking of
the public machine,'' which he maintained still had ''ample
room'' for ''savings'' and streamlining ''without renouncing the
delivery of high quality services''.
Saccomanni also vowed to work ''with tenacity'' to lower
the tax burden, which reached 44% of the gross domestic product
in 2012, and declared that tax-cutting must remain a policy
objective ''for years, not months''.
The minister described tackling tax evasion as a necessity
to help lower tax rates, and also as a tool for achieving growth
and a fair society, in addition to stabilizing budget resources.
''Because the maintenance of budget stability goes hand in
hand with growth and (social) equity, the fight against tax
evasion absolutely can not be slackened,'' Saccomanni said.
Retailers association Confcommercio said honest Italian
households and businesses face a real tax burden of 54% in a
report on Thursday, adding that this was the highest rate among
the world's advanced economies.
The figure comes after the underground economy was excluded
from the calculations.
It forecast the 'apparent' tax burden this year, using the
official method that features the black market in its
calculations, will be 44.6%.
The report estimated that Italy's underground economy was
worth the equivalent of 17.4% of gross domestic product, or 272
billion euros in taxes dodged every year.

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