Italy Approves $36 Billion Budget to Cut Taxes, Boost Growth
Mario Draghi’s government has won lawmakers’ support for a 32 billion-euro ($36 billion) budget plan for next year aimed at supporting Italy’s growth.
The bill was approved with a confidence vote in parliament in Rome late Wednesday, and will face a final formal vote Thursday.
The spending plan -- the first drafted by the executive led by the former European Central Bank chief -- allocates about 8 billion euros to cut income taxes for companies and individuals and budgets budgets almost 4 billion euros to mitigate the impact of rising energy prices.
It refinances social measures introduced by previous administrations including a form of citizen income, a bonus for green house renovations and incentives for families with children.
It also enacts measures which were put off by earlier governments, including a cut in the value added tax for tampons and funds to help young people rent a home.
The expansionary budget is part of Draghi’s plan to support Italy’s chronically low economic growth rate as the country continues to battle the impact of the pandemic.
The government expects output to grow more than 6% this year, after an almost 9% decline in 2020.
The spread of the omicron variant and a record number of Covid-19 cases reported in the country are already impacting economic activity, with holiday cancellations worth about 4 billion euros, according to consumer association Coldiretti.
Draghi said earlier this month he didn’t expect the new virus strain to affect the 2021 growth forecast.
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