Renzi pledges tax cuts 'in pact with Italians'

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Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged to cut taxes over the next three years in what he says is a “pact with Italians”.Photo: Thierry Charlier/AFP
08:54 CEST+02:00
Italy’s premier Matteo Renzi has pledged to cut taxes over the next three years, including the unpopular tax on primary residences, in what he says is a “pact with Italians”.

Renzi said in an interview with Rai television's TG2 on Sunday that the cuts will go alongside crucial reforms, which, if all goes ahead, could see taxes lowered by €50 billion over five years.

The cuts are intended to boost consumer confidence and make Italy, the eurozone’s third biggest economy, more competitive.

Renzi has already reduced taxes for people on low incomes since taking office, as well as a corporate tax on labour at the regional level.

The property tax on primary homes (Imu) will be abolished from 2016. Corporate taxes would be further reduced from 2016 and income taxes from 2017.

“How will we find the resources? The ability to do it is obvious; we have already been following a plan for more than six months,” he said, without providing further details.

Renzi also said he wanted Italy to “stop being a country of whiners”.

“For years, politicians have told Italians ‘we’ll tax you’. Since we’ve been in government, we’ve started to give money back to Italians. If we give a message of confidence, then Italy will stop being a country of whiners and return to being a driver in Europe.”

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Renzi’s upbeat pledge came just a few days after Italy’s central bank said the country’s public debt level had hit a new record of €2.2 trillion in May, up by €23.4 billion in a month.

Italy’s public debt of more than 130 percent of GDP is second only to Greece in the eurozone.

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