Super bonuses, citizen income and “ethical taxes”: the waste of the M5S swept away

Italy’s withdrawal from the Silk Road agreement with China marks another breaking point with regards to the policies implemented by the 5 Star Movement. A path that the Meloni government is taking, but some steps have already been taken with Mario Draghi’s Executive. This is the case, for example, of the Bonafede reform on prescription. The then Minister of Justice of the 5 Star Movement (in the second Conte government) proposed – and approved – a modification of the institution that contemplated its extinction after the first sentence, whether conviction or acquittal. This regime was then partially changed with the Cartabia reform, which introduced the principle of “inadmissibility”, establishing deadlines beyond which the process would be terminated. Two years have passed since the appeal and one since the Court of Cassation. Now, the current government intends to take another step, reestablishing the functioning of the prescription as before the Bonafede modification. Work in progress, then.

Instead, what is almost complete is the modification of the citizen’s income. The social inclusion benefit of the 5 Star Movement has shown double speed. It certainly worked as a well-being tool, ensuring new resources for those most in need, especially in times of Covid. However, it has largely lost the second pillar of its mission, namely monitoring at work. Only between 3 and 8% of beneficiaries had a job or training offer. Without forgetting, then, the rich anecdotal evidence of irregularities and misperceptions and the more than 30 billion in total costs. The farewell to the income was marked in the center-right’s electoral program, with great outbursts from the five-star leader Conte, who went so far as to talk about civil war. When, during the summer, the “changes” of who can work for the new support tools took place and the platform for access to training projects was launched, demonstrations by beneficiaries took place in some Italian cities on which the Movement’s rhetoric tried to take hold. shut up. Conte once again predicted a “very warm autumn”, which fortunately did not happen. And the wage workers’ street initiatives didn’t last more than a few days. And from 2024, two measures introduced by the government will come into force to support the fragile and poorest. This is support for professional training and the inclusion allowance. The inclusion allowance, in particular, will be granted to families that have at least one member with a disability or minor or at least 60 years of age or who are part of a care and assistance program of local social and health services.

Another measure that the Meloni government blocked was the 110% super bonus. A measure that, on the one hand, undoubtedly favored the relaunch of construction after the total halt due to Covid. But on the other hand it created problems for the State’s accounts, so much so that yesterday the Prime Minister named it among the difficult legacies that made the budgetary maneuver difficult: «for 2024 we have another 13 billion euros to pay higher interest on the debt, which increase in rates by the ECB and 20 billion to be paid in super bonus credits.” An issue, in fact, that is also part of the European debate on the Stability Pact and the proposal that is on the table to reduce debt by 1% per year. The Minister of Economy, Giancarlo Giorgetti, explained this a few days ago in a hearing before the mixed budget committees of the Chamber and the Senate: «The debt/GDP ratio reduces with growth, at most with smaller interest expenses. In our projections, the reduction of debt in relation to GDP next year could be around 1%, but there is the weight of the Superbonus. The reduction of public debt by 1% per year is not scary for the Italy, but it should start when the Superbonus smoke clears.” There are also two other measures introduced with the Conte 2 government, which fall into the category of “ethical taxes” of which the Five Star Movement was a strong supporter, namely the tax on sugar and the tax on plastic. Taxes that constitute a trap ready to fall on the ankles of the sectors involved, fortunately never came into force. With this maneuver, its application was postponed for the sixth time. In the hope that, sooner or later, the end will be written in this case too.

Source: IL Tempo