The Chamber of Deputies of Italy approved in the early hours of this Saturday the Budget Law, after a night marathon that began on Friday at 20.30 hours (19.30 GMT) and is scheduled to begin next Tuesday its final ratification in the Senate, before the limit of December 31.
To speed up the approval, a vote of confidence was first imposed that thus avoided the debate of each of the parts of the Budget, which has been harshly criticized by the opposition parties that have described the law as “the most botched” in recent years, as stated by the secretary of the Democratic Party, Enrico Letta.
“Tonight 9 hours of attempts to change the Budget Law and fix it. One thing is certain, I have never seen such an abysmal distance between the impoverished reality of the Act voted tonight and the staggering promises of months and years turn out to be smoke,” Letta wrote on Twitter.
The Italian media picked up the words during the night of the Minister of Economy, Giancarlo Giorgietti, who said about these Budgets: “It’s like airplanes, when there is a bit of turbulence, the important thing is to land.”
The approval of the first budget of the Executive of Giorgia Meloni foresees an expenditure of 35,000 million euros, of which 21,000 will be allocated to measures for exemptions and tax credits to help companies and households to face the energy crisis.
The package will make next year’s deficit rise to 4.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) from 3.4% that had been forecast in September and received the approval of the European Commission (EC), although “with some critical points” such as the introduction of a ceiling of 60 euros in which merchants could refuse payment with electronic cards and that they have finally eliminated.
The Budget Law fulfills the promise of eliminating, although only within 7 months, the citizenship income, a kind of vital minimum income, to all those who refuse a job, while the disabled or people who have minors or sick in charge may continue to receive it until the end of the year.
In addition, a reform is introduced in the calculation of the retirement age with respect to the current law, which will allow to stop working with 41 years of contributions and 62 years of age, a measure that according to the media would affect some 50,000 people.
The minimum pensions reach 600 euros, but only for those “over 75 years old” and for the moment only in 2023.
A parental leave of one more month is introduced, which can be used by both parents until the sixth year of the child’s life and will be paid at 80% of the salary and for large families the family cheque per child is increased.
It also changes the tax on extraordinary profits of energy companies, which will be 50% on extra income from 2022 that exceeds by at least 10% the average of 2018-21 and will only apply to companies with at least 75% of their income derived from energy.
During the night, the amendment was also approved “in extremis” with the funds for the cultural bonus of 500 euros for young people, but only to those over 18 with a low family income or who have had a high vote in the selectivity.
Also at the last minute was included the amendment for the purchase for 20 million euros of Villa Verdi, the mansion of the well-known composer that will thus become state-owned.
One of the most controversial measures was the approval of hunting in protected areas and in cities of species such as wild boar.