What will the Meloni government do for the expensive bills

For the executive, the first measures will be a reality bath. We proceed in the wake of Draghi. The budget law, in fact, has been set up but a new intervention will be inevitable already in November to stem the impact of the increases. 

In the end, there were 235 yeses, 154 votes against and 5 abstentions. Giorgia Meloni collects the confidence of the Chamber. Today, starting at 1 pm, she repeats herself in the Senate, the hall where the balances are numerically more fragile. In her manifesto speech, the Prime Minister confirmed that the main objective is now to “strengthen” aid to contain high bills and high fuel. There will therefore be few resources available and therefore pensions, flat tax and tax wedge will have to proceed “gradually”. Translated: we talk about it seriously in 2023, and in the next maneuver at most there will be some starters, (the flat tax will not be for everyone but should be extended up to 100,000 euros in annual turnover. Already with the current limit, 65,000 euros, more than half of the ” 

The next moves on bills

The hottest front is always that of bills. With the collapse of the price on the Dutch market it is reasonable to expect an update of the tariffs for consumers. The price of methane will fall first, then electricity. “We have to see the situation of the public finances, the priority is to tackle the problem of bills and after that there is room for everything else”, says the Minister for Relations with the Parliament Luca Ciriani (Fdi) about the budget maneuver. which will be one of the first test beds for the new Meloni government. Will something of the center-right program be seen in the maneuver? “I hope so” reiterated the minister.

The budget law will have to be written in record time this year. The technical system has already been set up by the Mef, but must be completed. However, explained a minister in recent days, “I think it will be a very technical maneuver. The resources are what they are and the deadlines are very short, the more complex interventions will be made later”. But before the “financial”, there are still two very hot months on the energy front. A new intervention on bills is already scheduled for November, to extend almost the entire current package of discounts to businesses and households at the end of the year. The goal of expanding the audience of beneficiaries of the support, after the election promises, will probably not be completed immediately. There first of all it is necessary to verify how many resources will actually be available to extend and intensify aid. The last month of the year remained uncovered, and it was up to the new Meloni executive to decide how to move: the “Aiuti 4” decree is at the top of the to-do list. These are the intentions to confirm the deductions in favor of businesses, strengthening on the other hand the social bonuses for the most troubled households which would also be disbursed with an automatic mechanism (to be defined). 

It would then be, but we are largely in the field of hypotheses, a mechanism to strengthen the social bonus on the bills of less well-off families, with the aim first of all of simplifying it and making it automatic. The idea is to guarantee the bonus, which reduces the price increases of electricity and gas, to taxpayers with the lowest incomes, disconnecting it from the Isee parameter (the ceiling is now at 12 thousand euros) that must be requested by families. Precisely this passage, as the ministerial monitoring shows, proved to be a no small obstacle to the effective use of the aid. Because many of the families concerned are not aware of the bonus, despite it being clearly indicated in the bill, and almost half of the allocated resources have not yet been properly exploited. A sin is a proof that there is something is wrong. The discount of 30 cents on excise duties on fuels which expires on November 18 has to be extended. There would be around 10 billion in extra revenue already certified by the outgoing government. 

All the news today

The semi-certainties are that the tax credit in favor of companies and commercial activities will be extended. It costs a lot, 4.7 billion, and provides for a rate of 40% for energy-intensive companies and 30% for smaller ones that use electricity with a power of 4.5 kilowatts. The measures are dedicated only to those companies that have recorded increases of at least 30% in the costs of their electricity and gas supplies compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year. For families on this front, substantial changes are not expected, at least in this decree, because both the cancellation of the system charges and the reduction to 5% of the VAT paid on methane have already been extended until 31 December by the outgoing government. Finally, we are moving towards a moratorium for those who are behind with payments, in order to overcome the winter and spring. Consumer associations are asking for longer installments, which go beyond the current 10 months. 

The criticisms of Calenda, Letta and Conte

“We did not understand what will happen to Italian bills in the coming weeks,” Enrico Letta told the Chamber, analyzing the premier’s speech. “We have not understood anything about what will be the budget law that you will have to present in a few hours”.

“I was surprised by his keynote speech: he did not spend a single word to give us a sufficiently concrete indication of the measures he intends to take on the expensive bills, and the expensive prices, is the most urgent issue we have. He has not told us anything about extra profits. , nothing on the budget gap, sooner or later you will have to decide, when will he let us know? “, comments the leader of the 5-star Movement, Giuseppe Conte.

Giorgia Meloni therefore said that she will start with the expensive bills, but what will she actually do? “Did you understand it? – asks Carlo Calenda, leader of Action, in an interview with Repubblica  – Draghi used tax credits. We proposed a ceiling on the cost of electricity and gas bills, also indicating the coverage. it has limited itself to launching a general appeal to Europe. But Italy is already in recession, it needs choices: will they put the money on energy or on the flat tax, on pensions or on education?

The trade unions, for their part, have renewed the request to the government to immediately open a discussion on measures against inflation and expensive bills and on pension reform. For the government and above all for the Brothers of Italy, after years of the opposition that allowed them to become the first party in the country, and after months of effective electoral campaign, the real problems begin. The first “reality bath” will be on the bills.