Pos, cash, amnesty and pensions: the EU rejects Meloni

The Commission generally promotes the maneuver, but warns: the 4 “political” measures of the budget law are not in line with the recommendations.

In general, “the budget planning document for Italy” is “in line” with the EU recommendations. But from Brussels comes a clear rejection of the four ‘political’ measures of the government: Pos, ceiling on cash, tax amnesty and early pensions. This is what emerges from the opinion of the European Commission on the first maneuver of the new executive led by Giorgia Meloni.

Le note negative

“The Draft Budgetary Plan includes measures that are not consistent with past country-specific recommendations,” writes Brussels. “On 9 July 2019, the Council, among others, recommended that Italy fight tax evasion, in particular in the form of non-invoicing, including by strengthening the mandatory use of electronic payments, including by lowering the legal thresholds for cash payments, as well as to fully implement pension reforms to reduce the share of pensions in public expenditure”, the opinion continues. A premise that leads to contesting the four most discussed measures in recent weeks, and which, according to the Commission, “are not in line with these country-specific recommendations”. 

The first concerns the increase in the ceiling on cash, which goes from 2,000 to 5,000 euros. The second is the “tax amnesty which allows the cancellation of previous tax debts relating to the period 2000-2015 and not exceeding 1,000 euros”. The third, however, is the measure on the Pos, or rather “the possibility of refusing electronic payments of less than 60 euros without penalties”. On this measure, the government had leaked in the past few hours its intention to reduce the threshold to 40 euros. Then there is the question of pensions: “the renewal, with more stringent age criteria, in 2023 of the early retirement plans that expired at the end of 2022” does not comply with the EU recommendations. In essence, Brussels rejects the measure on early retirement.

Implement reforms on VAT and cadastre

The European Commission then invites Italy to follow up on the recommendations on structural tax reforms: “In order to further reduce taxes on labor and increase the efficiency of the system”, in July 2022 the EU invited Italy to “adopt and adequately implement the enabling law on tax reform (the one presented by the Draghi government in October 2021, ed), in particular by reviewing the effective marginal rates, aligning them with current market values, rationalizing and reducing tax breaks, also for VAT, and environmentally harmful subsidies, ensuring fairness and reducing the complexity of the tax code”. The draft law, continues Brussels, “has provided for various structural changes, such as: a review of personal and corporate taxes, including the phasing out of the business tax; a reform of cadastral values ‚Äč‚Äčtogether with a mechanism for periodic adjustments; a rationalization of VAT rates and tax bases; and a review of environmental taxes in line with the principles of the European Green Deal. He also charged the government with simplifying the tax system and harmonizing tax legislation into a single legal code. However, the enabling law was not approved by the Parliament”, recalls Brussels. and a review of environmental taxes in line with the principles of the European Green Deal. He also charged the government with simplifying the tax system and harmonizing tax legislation into a single legal code. However, the enabling law was not approved by the Parliament”, recalls Brussels. and a review of environmental taxes in line with the principles of the European Green Deal. He also charged the government with simplifying the tax system and harmonizing tax legislation into a single legal code. However, the enabling law was not approved by the Parliament”, recalls Brussels.

Promotions in the general line

Net of the negative notes highlighted above, the Commission has in any case promoted the maneuver in general. In particular, “the growth of nationally financed current primary expenditure is in line with the Council recommendation”. While on the investment front, between Pnrr, other EU funds and own resources, the government plan is in line with the EU guidelines on “green and digital transitions and for energy security”. Here too, however, Brussels issues a warning (which is actually the same as for the other EU countries: the extension of measures to support families and businesses against high bills could lead “to an increase in the public deficit and debt expected in 2023″. Therefore, ” 

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