The prime minister illustrates the contents of the budget law: “I ask for sacrifices from all ministries”
The one launched in the Council of Ministers is a maneuver worth “24 billion or a little less, resulting in 16 billion in extra revenue and the rest in spending cuts. It is a maneuver that I consider very serious, very realistic, which does not waste resources but the focuses on some major priorities, continuing to follow a vision that this government has put in place since the beginning of its mandate.” Thus the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, speaking at the press conference, underlining that it was an approval “in record time: he was called at 9.30 and it began shortly after, demonstrating the unity of views of the CDM and the majority that supports the government”.
“Most of this work has been done by asking sacrifices from the ministries, from Palazzo Chigi everyone, to the ministries we have all cut expenses, I want to thank everyone and I am very proud of this work. It is a government that does not waste resources in a thousand streams , every year we try to take a step forward together. This is the signal we want to give to Italians”, the prime minister added.
Illustrating the contents of the maneuver in the press conference, Meloni explained that the government has “the tax wedge cut for 2024 confirmed: by 6 percentage points for incomes up to 35 thousand euros, by 7 points for those up to 25 thousand. It is an increase in the paycheck that corresponds on average to around 100 euros per month” and concerns “an audience of 14 million citizens”.
The maneuver approved by the government is part of a “fairly complex picture” but despite this the Council of Ministers managed “to confirm some priorities, the first is to defend the purchasing power of families, i.e. more money in the paycheck for citizens with incomes medium low”.
The measure that reduces Irpef rates and cuts the wedge “comes into force for everyone, for now we sterilize it for the highest incomes, for the fourth rate above 50 thousand euros. It is a measure that incomes will see on their paychecks less low, the measure also applies to pensioners.
“For healthcare, the priority is to reduce waiting lists. With 136 billion euros this year we reach the highest investment ever planned for healthcare. In 2019 the fund was 115 billion, in the Covid years between 122 and 127 billion”, he says, referring to the controversy over healthcare cuts. “This is three billion more than expected – he adds -. In recent days I heard that we would cut funding for healthcare. Lies do not correspond to the reality of things”.
Contracts and fringe benefits
In the maneuver there are “contractual increases for the public sector, there are 7 billion for contractual increases, over 2 for healthcare, 5 for the remaining sectors”. “I want to say clearly that the priority is the renewal of contracts in the security sector, a policeman cannot earn overtime of 6 euros an hour”.
“Last year we made significant interventions on fringe benefits, this year we are making it structural with changes for 2024: we are bringing the ceiling to 2 thousand euros for workers with children and to a thousand euros for all the others”.
In the new budget law “we do not confirm the VAT cut for early childhood products because it has been absorbed by price increases and I don’t think it is worth renewing this measure”, while “we continue to work on parental leave”, strengthening it. As regards birth incentives, “we add further measures for 1 billion euros which will serve to increase the paid leave by one month to 60%, which can be used by the father or mother, which will be added to a first month at 80% “, explained Meloni.
“Let’s significantly increase the fund for nursery schools: nursery school is free for the second child.” “The most significant measure – explained the Prime Minister – concerns the issue of mothers’ tax exemption: mothers with two children or more will not pay the contributions paid by the worker. A woman who gives birth to at least two children has already made an important contribution to society, and the State tries to compensate by paying social security contributions.”
On pensions, in addition to the planned interventions, the government has chosen to introduce a new element “also on some situations of imbalance and we have begun to give a signal on pensions that no one has dealt with”, i.e. those entirely in the contributory system, eliminating “the constraint that requires those in the contributory system to retire at the age they have reached only if the amount of their pension is less than 1.5 of the social pension”, otherwise it is necessary to wait “for 70 years. In our opinion it is not a correct measure and we have removed the existing constraint.”
As regards the social ape pensions and women’s pensions are replaced by a single fund for exit flexibility”.