Over a million Italians earn a living from politics

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More than one million people in Italy are employed by the political "industry". Photo: Rome's Palazzo Chigi, the official meeting place of the Council of Ministers. Simone Ramella/Flickr
15:41 CET+01:00
Over a million people in Italy make their living from politics, making it the biggest industry in the country, according to a report by the Italian labour union, UiL.

The figures, reported by the news website Il Fatto Quotidiano, revealed that 1.1 million people work either directly or indirectly for the government.

But just a little more than 150,000 are employed across parliament, regional and local governments, while only 12 percent are elected politicians.

The majority of public money, in fact, goes towards paying 487,949 consultants in “political support roles” on behalf of public companies. On top of this, 390,120 are paid to work for political parties in some shape or form.

Meanwhile, 24,432 are directors on various boards, while over 80,000 work as auditors or in other support roles.

The union said the numbers come from official databases and institutions.

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Keeping the industry afloat costs taxpayers €23.9bn a year, according to a report on The boards of directors at almost 7,000 public intitutions and companies cost €2.65bn alone, while consultants’ salaries cost €1.5bn.

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