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Italian Business Condemns 'Extreme' Tax Burden

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

20 September 2012

During his address to its annual meeting, Marco Venturi, the president of Confesercenti, an association representing over 350,000 commercial firms, has expressed alarm at the "shocking tax burden" that is currently being placed on Italian businesses.

He railed against the level of taxation which is currently crushing the Italian economy. According to Confesercenti, there will be an additional EUR40bn (USD52.4bn) in tax revenue this year, followed by EUR51bn in 2013 and EUR52bn in 2014, to make a sum total of EUR143bn. However, with the extra taxation imposed between 2006 and 2011, the total will actually reach EUR204bn.

However, Venturi pointed out that it was not only the tax burden they suffer that worried commercial businesses. The threatened 2% increase to value-added tax, which could still happen from July 1 next year, needs to be totally withdrawn he said, if the government does not want to see domestic consumption, which is already expected to fall this year by 2.3% and next year by 0.9%, drop even further with devastating consequences for employers and employees.

The solution, according to Confesercenti, is to break the “vicious spiral between taxes and government spending”, while looking to rationalize both local and central public expenditure from where it should be possible to find EUR20bn of funding to promote economic growth by lightening taxes on businesses and families.

The above goes against the current plans of the Monti government, whose programme for future growth in the Italian economy does not yet include tax relief, concentrating instead on eliminating Italy’s fiscal deficit. According to the government any talk of reduced taxation would be premature.

TAGS: individuals | tax | economics | business | value added tax (VAT) | fiscal policy | corporation tax | Italy | retail | individual income tax

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