Italy Approves Budget Aimed at Boosting Household Spending and Birth Rates


Summary: Italy’s government, led by the far-right, has approved a budget aimed at improving public health services, incentivizing families to have more children, and increasing the income of low- and medium-wage workers. The budget, totaling 24 billion euros, includes spending cuts and is in line with the government’s priorities. It will be sent for EU approval, but Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti is confident it will be accepted. The budget includes measures such as payroll tax cuts, tax breaks for women with multiple children, and free nursery school from the second child onwards. It also allocates funds for improving public health services and infrastructure projects.

Italy’s far-right-led government has approved a budget for the following year that aims to address various aspects of the country’s economy and society. The 24 billion-euro budget includes 5 billion euros in spending cuts and is consistent with the government’s priorities. Premier Giorgia Meloni described it as both ‘serious’ and ‘realistic.’ However, Italy is expected to face an increase of 13 billion euros in debt payments due to rising interest rates. Despite this, Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti expressed confidence that the budget would be accepted by both the European Union and the markets.

One of the key measures in the budget is a cut in payroll taxes, which will result in an additional 100 euros per month for 14 million Italians. This initiative aims to boost spending power in light of increasing inflation. Additionally, tax breaks will be provided to women with at least two children, and free nursery school will be guaranteed from the second child onwards. These policies are aimed at dispelling the perspective that having children hinders one’s ability to work.

The budget also allocates 3 billion euros to improve Italy’s public health services. The goal is to reduce wait times for medical services, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The long waiting lists have been criticized by Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who called them a ‘national shame.’ The budget also addresses pension reforms by increasing the minimum pension amount. Furthermore, the annual fee assessed to households to support RAI state television will be reduced from 90 euros to 70 euros.

In addition to these measures, the budget includes funds for infrastructure projects. Notably, it provides for the construction of a long-discussed bridge connecting mainland Italy to Sicily, a project supported by League leader Matteo Salvini. Salvini, who is also the infrastructure minister, confirmed that construction work would commence in the following year.

Tags: Italy, budget, economic measures, public health services, family incentives, payroll tax cuts, nursery school, pension reforms, infrastructure projects