'Simplify the life of the honest taxpayer': Padoan

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Pier Carlo Padoan became Italy's finance minister in February. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
09:34 CEST+02:00
Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan on Sunday promised to revamp Italy's bureaucratic system, rewarding the "honest taxpayer" as a way of sparking economic growth.

Speaking on state broadcaster Rai on Sunday, Padoan said the government had a two-tier reform plan.

“Drastically simplify the taxation system, simplifying the life of the honest taxpayer, [and] changing the fiscal burden that unfortunately exists….for more growth and work,” he was quoted in Il Messaggero as saying.

According to EU figures released on Monday, Italy has one of the highest tax-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratios in Europe.

The tax burden reached 44.0 percent in Italy in 2012, comparable to Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, with 44.2 percent, and Finland with 44.1 percent. France topped all three, however, registering 45.0 percent, third in Europe behind Denmark and Belgium.  

Padoan’s push for structural reform renews statements he made earlier this month, when the finance minister said simplifying Italy’s bureaucratic system must be the first step to revamping the economy.

"All the other reforms will come from this one. Coming up with good laws is useless if they cannot then be implemented," he said on June 3rd.

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Italy’s economy shrank by 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014, while during the same period the country’s unemployment rate reached 13.6 percent.

READ MORE: 'Italy needs all-out structural reforms'

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