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Thursday, December 7, 2023

A decree on petrol and heating bonuses for low incomes is ready

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A decree law for “urgent energy measures” and “interventions to support purchasing power”. The article, developed by the Ministry of Economy under the leadership of Giancarlo Giorgetti, will be discussed today by the pre-ministerial council, with a view to approval by the cabinet on Monday. It is an open text, therefore subject to changes. But the areas of intervention have been identified.

Fuel bonuses

The items on the table include the one-off fuel bonus of 80 euros for holders of the ‘Dedicated to you’ purchasing card for approximately 1.3 million families with ISEE up to 15 thousand euros, but also the extension by three months of 5% VAT on the gas bills, which would otherwise expire at the end of September, and the extension of the social bonus on the bills. The heating bonus will also come into effect in October to cover part of the allowance for families with ISEE up to 15,000 euros. And the First Home Fund and the transport bonus will be refinanced.

One of the measures that is not yet certain is the tax credit for road transport on fuel expenditure. To cover these measures, the government would resort to the increased revenues from the same fuels resulting from the price increase: until July, an additional 2.7 billion were collected in excise duties alone. Finally, the expansion of the protected energy market is discussed, which would otherwise expire on January 10, forcing 10 million families to enter the open market. However, the extension of the protected regime, under which electricity and gas prices are periodically set by the Arera government agency, should, if it comes into force, only concern so-called ‘vulnerable’ users (over 75 years old, disabled people and holders of social benefits). bonus on accounts).


Other measures to support purchasing power are not excluded, but for the time being this does not concern the tax reduction on thirteenth wages for employees and pensioners, which the Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Maurizio Leo, has announced that he wants to bring forward to 2023. For this measure, which would be designed as a flat tax of 15% on the thirteenth of middle-high incomes, and which would be accompanied by the tax reduction on productivity bonuses and the strengthening of secondary employment conditions, we will have to wait for the framework of financial availability that the government will draw up in the updated note to the Def, which should be approved on Thursday. . And on which different variables emerge.

GDP overview

Today, Istat will announce a revision of nominal GDP for 2021 to take into account new European statistical criteria, which has already happened in Germany, France and Spain, among others. For Italy it will be an increase in gross domestic product, which will fluctuate between 1.8 and 2.1 points. resulting in an increase in the real change in GDP itself in 2021, which will therefore be higher than 6.7%. The new value that will be communicated today will determine an improvement in the deficit-GDP and debt-GDP ratios, which is likely to have a positive impact in the coming years. However, for NaDef purposes, there are other variables that work in a negative way.

Starting with the most updated forecasts, which estimate that GDP in 2024 will be much lower than the 1.5% set by the government in the Final last April. We are still waiting for Eurostat’s decisions on how the Superbonus is accounted for. If it is confirmed that everything must be loaded in the first year, the 2023 deficit, now forecast at 4.5% of GDP, would skyrocket. And the trend deficit and the program deficit for 2024, set by the Def at 3.5 and 3.7% of GDP respectively, also need to be revised.

The core of the Stability Pact

All this means that the government is not yet able to accurately define the financial space for the next budget law. He only knows that it should cover about 30 billion in expenses, starting with the 14 to 15 that would be needed to confirm the wage cut and reduce the Irpef rates to three, but he still does not know how and where . to find them. Not to mention that the whole issue will be affected by the revision of the Stability Pact being discussed in Brussels., with Italy asking to exclude investment expenditure from the deficit, including that of the Pnrr: an approach that, if ever accepted, would open up new space. But later a second time of the maneuver is determined. For now, Giorgetti admitted, “we are at sea.”

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Source: Corriere

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