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FINANCE

How and why the Italian government will give you €100 towards buying a new TV

From August 23rd, everyone living in Italy can apply for a discount on the cost of buying a new television. Here’s what the new scheme is all about.

With dozens of tax ‘bonuses’ and rebates already available when purchasing anything from an electric car to a first home in Italy, the Italian government in July confirmed a new discount of 20% off the price of buying a new TV, up to a maximum of 100 euros.

The government has now confirmed that applications for the bonus will be open from August 23rd. newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reports.

EXPLAINED: How to pay or cancel your Italian TV licence fee

The measure is intended to help with the costs of replacing older sets when Italy switches its signal to DVB-T2 in June 2022.

Italian Minister for Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti has signed off on the launch off the new “TV scrapping bonus”, saying the discount will be available to all households regardless of income, while a previous TV bonus for lower-income households also remains in place.

Households with an ISEE of €20,000 or less are already eligible for up to €50 off the price of a new-generation TV or decoder, in the form of a discount applied directly at the cash register.

The Italian ISEE number is the measure used to indicate how relatively well off your household is, taking into account income, assets, debts, and other factors. It’s quite complex to calculate but you can ask your commercialista (accountant) to do this for you.

READ ALSO: From DAD to DOP, the most common Italian acronyms explained

Photo: Rafael Arkenau/Unsplash

The new 100-euro ‘TV scrapping bonus’ announced on Wednesday is instead open to everyone in Italy, regardless of income level.

Lower-income households can claim both bonuses.

In both cases, you’ll need to trade in an older TV purchased before December 2018 in order to benefit.

You can do this by giving your old TV to the store when buying the new set. (You’ll need to ask first if the business is taking part in the scheme).

You can also take it to an authorized recycling centre yourself, as long as you obtain a document certifying that you’ve done so.

As well as scrapping the old TV set, the other two requirements for claiming the discount are that you’re a resident in Italy, and that you can prove you pay Italy’s canone (TV licencing fee) or are exempt.

For more information, see the Italian Economic Development Ministry’s website.

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MONEY

REVEALED: Which are Italy’s cheapest supermarkets?

As the cost of living crisis hits household budgets in Italy as elsewhere, a new study says switching supermarkets could shave thousands of euros a year off your grocery shopping bill.

REVEALED: Which are Italy's cheapest supermarkets?

As the cost of living keeps rising amid soaring inflation – Italy’s inflation rate hit a 37-year high at the end of last month – many households across Italy, as elsewhere, are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet.

READ ALSO: What is Italy doing to cut the rising cost of living?

The government’s recent suggestion of lowering or even scrapping IVA (VAT, or sales tax) on basic food products hasn’t materialised. But consumers could still find ways to save on their grocery shopping.

Many shoppers are now switching supermarkets to save money, or considering it.

And doing so could pay off. A new study from Italian consumer group Altroconsumo showed a family of four can save up to 3,350 euros a year by shopping at discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Eurospin.

Altroconsumo, savings on grocery shopping

Maximum possible savings by type of shopping and household size. Graphic courtesy of Altroconsumo.

For context, the study found Italian families with two children spend an average of 8,550 euros a year on groceries. 

While discount supermarkets do allow for considerable savings however they also generally offer lower-quality products which not all consumers will be satisfied with.

Shoppers can also reduce costs by switching to supermarket own-brand items (i.e. items carrying the supermarket logo), available in stores such as Carrefour and Iper-Coop. 

In particular, shopping at Carrefour, which is the most affordable supermarket in Italy when it comes to own-brand goods, can allow a family of four to save as much as 3,250 euros per year (savings can amount to 2000 euros for individual consumers). 

Consumers who do not wish to part ways with branded products (prodotti di marca) can still save on their shopping, though in this case savings are comparatively lower.

Shopping at Esselunga – the most cost-effective Italian supermarket for branded goods – allows for savings up to 350 euros for single individuals and up to 570 euros for families with two children.

Finally, potential savings are considerably reduced for consumers choosing to stick with a spesa mista, meaning that they generally fill up their shopping cart with a combination of branded items, distributor-brand goods and low-cost goods.

Regional differences 

While switching supermarket can mean savings on food bills, exactly how much you’ll save varies greatly by region.

In particular, Altroconsumo’s latest report highlighted once again the stark divide separating the north of the country from the centre and south. 

READ ALSO: From coffee to haircuts: How the cost of living varies around Italy

 Of the 15 cheapest Italian supermarkets, only two are located in the central or southern regions of the boot (Sesto Fiorentino’s Coop-Fi and Spesa 365 in Bari).

More importantly, consumers living in the north and shopping at the cheapest supermarket or hypermarket available in their city can save as much as 18 percent on a branded-goods-only food bill.

In equal circumstances (i.e. buying only branded items at the cheapest local store), consumers living in most central or southern cities can only save between two and three percent. 

Convenience map by Altroconsumo

The “convenience map”, with the cheaper cities shown in green and the more expensive cities shown in red. Graphic courtesy of Altroconsumo.
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