Flat Tax, Jobs Key in Berlusconi's Plan to Relaunch Italy Growth

(Bloomberg) -- A flat tax for all and 2 million new jobs are among the top priorities in the draft program of former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party for the March 4 elections.

The “introduction of a flat tax means giving back families purchasing power, thus increasing consumption and endowing companies with liquidity to raise investments,” according to an excerpt of the program obtained by Bloomberg.

The draft also envisages annual economic growth of 3 percent by the end of the five-year period in 2023, along with the employment creation promise.

The program aims to relaunch the euro region’s third-biggest economy with expansionary policies and recoup the ground lost in the double-dip, record-long recession of the 2008-2013 period.

Italy would then become “more credible in Europe and in the world,” reads the outline. It is being discussed with potential partners in the center-right coalition, including the euro-skeptic Northern League.

Public Debt

While Forza Italia’s plan doesn’t cite a level for the planned flat income tax for individuals, Berlsuconi has said in recent television interviews it should be 23 percent or even below that. The written draft plan says a flat tax would also apply to companies.

The program pursues the balanced budget of the Italian state and calls public debt below 100 percent of GDP a “feasible” goal. It is currently above 130 percent.

The draft does not mention the various European Union fiscal constraints on the country’s economy and public finances. Yet, it predicted the positive results would put Italy “in a powerful position in the European negotiation for necessary change of the European economic policy.”

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