Frontrunners in Italian election pledge to cut taxes

8 Jan 18

Italy’s right-wing parties pledged to cut taxes, tackle the issue of migration and reverse planned increases to the retirement age, in a manifesto outline released yesterday. 

The Forza Italia party, of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and its two allies, far-right Northern League and Brothers of Italy, are expected to win the election on 4 March, although it is thought they fall short of an absolute majority. 

A statement released after the three party leaders met to discuss their campaign strategy said: “Less taxes, less bureaucracy, less binds from Europe, more for those who need it, more security for everyone.”

One of the key goals is to reverse the 2011 legislation, which called for increases in the retirement age. 

The country currently spends more than 16% of its gross domestic product on state pensions, the second highest in Europe after Greece. 

The OECD called for further reforms to cope with ageing population as global public spending on pensions increased by about 1.5% of GDP since 2000.

The organisation’s report last month suggested Greece spent 17.4% of GDP on pensions in 2013, while Austria, France and Portugal spent about 13% to 14% of GDP.

The Northern League party has previously called for a 15% flat tax while former prime minister Berlusconi has proposed a flat rate of between 20% and 25%, down from the current income tax ranging from 23% to 43%. 

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