Ukraine and expensive energy, how much the war cost Italy

To contain the impact of price increases, 76 billion was invested, as much as 5 maneuvers in less than a year

The war in Ukraine to date has cost the Italian coffers 76 billion euros just to contain the impact of energy price increases on households and businesses. And let’s talk about spending, about resources allocated drawing largely from extra revenues and deficits or scraping the barrel between the folds of the budget or savings from other public expenditure items. We are not talking about costs in terms of loss of business productivity, erosion of the real economy and the purchasing power of households, which would cause the budget to rise much more.

The aid decrees alone, four in all, launched starting in May by the Draghi government first and then by the Meloni government have allocated total resources of 76 billion euros. In detail, the review of the Aid decrees starts in the spring with the first edition of the 14 billion provision in May; followed by the 17 billion August Aiuti Bis decree; the Ter in September from 14.9 billion, the latest decree from the Draghi government. In November, the Meloni government made its debut with the 9.1 billion Quater Aid decree and shortly afterward launched a maneuver three-quarters committed to measures to mitigate high energy costs, 21 billion in all, out of a total of 35 billion. Even before the new Aid decrees there had been measures to help families against high fuel and bills but they were linked to the Covid crisis.

Mind-boggling figures, unthinkable until a few years ago, hyperbolic if we think that it is more or less like having launched 5 riggings in less than a year, eight months to be exact.

Resources that financed a wide range of measures, renewed and reinforced in the four editions and in the manoeuvre. The interventions, which with the latest extension will expire on 31 March, involved, among others, the zeroing of system charges, the extension of the cut in excise duties on fuel, the extension of the terms for accessing the Superbonus, the credit 40% tax on the payment of bills for energy-intensive and gas-intensive companies and 30%o for small companies that use energy with power starting from 4.5 kW. Then there are the tax-free corporate benefits raised up to 3 thousand euros for the payment of utilities; installments up to 36 months of bills and the social bonus.

And as already in the other cases, the last decree is not yet at the finish line that we are already thinking about the decree that will come later. In fact, the war is far from over and, even if the EU price cap agreement will help to control costs, the government thinks it already knows that a new round of extensions will have to be launched at the end of the latest reissue (end of March).