Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Higher taxes hurting families, warns consumer groups

English
© ANSA

Rome, August 28 - Italian families, which are
already spending less on nutritious food as incomes fall and
expenses increase, cannot afford further tax increases, business
and consumer groups warned Wednesday.
As national statistics agency Istat warned that retail
sales fell by 3% in the first half of this year, consumer groups
said families are suffering and any further increases in the IMU
property tax or the value-added tax will be disastrous.
Italy's fragile coalition government was meeting Wednesday
to decide whether to abolish or amend the tax - a decision that
will likely influence other taxes as any revenues lost through
amending the IMU must be made up elsewhere.
But higher consumer taxes will do too much damage to
individuals and the economy by driving down consumption even
more, leading consumer groups Federconsumatori and Abusdef said
in a statement.
"The impact of these measures would have disastrous
consequences for the entire country and could drag on
consumption at year-end," the groups warned.
Already, the statistics are grim.
Istat said the 3% drop in retail sales over the first six
months of 2012 marked the twelfth consecutive annual fall in the
figures.
It noted that food sales have dropped considerably between
May and June 2013 compared with the same period last year.
Consumer groups say that in the past two years, consumers
spending has dropped by as much as 7.8% - worth about 56 billion
euro to the Italian economy.
Such losses could drive more and more businesses in
bankruptcy and any increase in the sales tax will make matters
even worse, said national business group Confesercenti, which
represents small and mid-sized enterprises.
"It would be a grave mistake," to replace lost IMU revenues
with high sales taxes, it warned.
Families living on tighter budgets are replacing nutritious
food with cheap junk, warned the Italian Farmers Confederation
(Cia).
Sales of fresh fish have fallen by 16.6%, red meat by 4.4%,
fruits and vegetables are down by 3.7% while "junk food" sales
are up 7% year over year, said Cia.

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