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Corporate tax breaks and help to buy homes: Italy's 'growth decree' to fight recession

AFP
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Corporate tax breaks and help to buy homes: Italy's 'growth decree' to fight recession
The growth decree contains measures designed to benefit young Italians, including graduates and house-buyers. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Italy's populist government unveiled its battle plan on Wednesday in the fight to boost sluggish growth in the eurozone's third biggest economy.

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From corporate tax deductions to financial schemes aimed at stopping the country's brain drain, the coalition is scrabbling to reverse poor forecasts after Italy slid into a technical recession in the second half of 2018.

The so-called "growth decree" adopted by the hard-right League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement allocates €1.9 billion over three years to the measures, which focus mainly on companies.

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It prolongs tax breaks on investments in machinery and real estate, while reducing corporate taxes. It also earmarks some €500 million for municipalities, to be used on energy-saving projects or to shore up public buildings in seismic areas.

Young Italians get a hand with purchasing their first home, graduates who have headed abroad are offered financial incentives to return, and the government also plans to compensate savers hit by the failure of small regional banks.

"We are giving a strong boost to the country's economic recovery, with concrete measures to support businesses and investments," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Facebook.

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