The Minister of Economy at the Lega Romagna party in Cervia: “We had signs that the manufacturing industry was slowing down”, but from the month of June “a trend reversal” began to appear. And he points to “the rise in interest rates and the war” as elements of destabilization. Many themes are at the center of his speech: Citizenship income, Pnrr, seaside resorts
“Prudently and responsibly optimistic”. This is what Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti says about the future of the Italian economy. Speaking in connection with the Lega Romagna party in Cervia, the minister underlined how – even if “we had signs that the manufacturing industry was slowing down” – a “reversal of the trend” began to show in June. Therefore, looking at the third and fourth quarters of the year, there is hope that things will improve. Not only. “We are convinced that we will achieve the growth expected in December of 1%, or rather exceed it”, said Giorgetti, listing however “the rise in interest rates and the war” as destabilizing factors. Without sparing a few jokes – “I’m on a diet. I run a lot. That’s okay. I have to be ready for the autumn hard work when the budget session arrives” – the minister touched on many of the hottest topics for the economy of our country: the question of taxis, the citizen’s income, tax evasion. Announcing that he “just” discussed the budget with Prime Minister Meloni, he looks to the future: “There are many wishes, resources are always notoriously scarce. Priorities must be put in order. A government must implement the program and concentrate on physiological priorities, but also determined by the state of necessity”.
“Real evasion is that of the giants of the web. We need a simpler system of rules”
With regard to tax evasion, which he estimates “from 60 to 100 billion” euros, Giorgetti wanted to underline that in Italy “we have a culture that thinks of the tax evader as the craftsman”, even if “the real tax evasion” is that of “giants of the web”. The biggest problem, he added, “is how to rebalance the level of taxation.” A “non-Italian, but collective” effort that would benefit from “simpler and clearer rules”, because “if the system is complex, tax disputes increase”.
“Citizens’ income cut to lower the tax wedge”
Giorgetti then once again claimed the cut of the Citizenship Income: “We did it consciously. We have safeguarded those who deserve it. Those who are able to work must accept to enter the job market. We must try to help those who work and who sacrifices himself”. However, the minister acknowledges that the problem is that “this job market doesn’t work and we can’t bring supply and demand together”. This is therefore “the big bet that we have not been able to win and on which we are committed”. The cut in income, he explained, was used in the government’s plans to finance the cut in the tax wedge for medium-low income employees, for around 80-100 euros.
“Navigator experiment has failed. Commissioner structures are needed for placement”
A critical point of income, said Giorgetti, was that of the relocation of beneficiaries towards the world of work. “There is assistance that must be guaranteed. The navigator experiment on basic income has failed. Why do companies that do temporary work work very well while it is not possible to start public employment?”, asks the minister . The mechanism, he underlined, has jammed “in many Regions”: “Unfortunately, the public is not able to do it. The attempt has been made. The navigators have been stabilized, but the results have been mediocre. It is a sector on which we have to work harder. And the competence is also regional. Some regions have not been able to do it. And there we need a replacement and commissioner intervention by the State”.
Pnrr: “Cuts refinanced with FSC funds in September”
A passage also on the Pnrr: “Italy is the only European country that has asked for all available resources. If we give up 16 billion, we give up 16 billion in loans. Fitto acknowledged that there were investments that would not be completed and therefore will be financed with the FSC, while for the Pnrr those 16 billion will have to be compensated by new energy projects”.
Inflation, the ECB, war
From Giorgetti’s speech came some criticism of the ECB and its policy of raising interest rates. “Everyone has to do his job. The ECB is autonomous and allows itself to criticize the government’s fiscal choices. I can criticize the ECB’s monetary policy. Inflation is an ugly beast and must be fought with all means. Here we risk to have inflation and recession. The price that citizens and businesses pay for this interest rate hike is significant,” said Giorgetti. The dizzying increase in inflation, according to the minister, is only partly due to the war in Ukraine, which is often considered the main culprit. “My thesis – he said – is that inflation arises from the energy sector and translates into other sectors. Thus the European Central Bank acts to counter inflation, with a restrictive monetary policy which in turn generates inflation. All these problems are not attributable to the conflict in Ukraine, but most of them are”.
Taxis and bathing establishments
Then a review of many issues on government tables. Like the recent investigation launched by the Antitrust on the alleged unfair practices of taxis: “An answer will arrive before the summer closure. We must guarantee users’ rights. The attempt is to respond to market expectations without damaging the legitimate interests of the category”. On bathing establishments, Giorgetti said that “open tenders cannot be made: we must protect family businesses whose income derives from the bathing establishment for social purposes. Larger joint-stock companies must certainly go out to tender”.