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Italian government’s 2023 budget bill draws widespread criticism

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome 

Italy's new right-wing government is under fire over its 2023 draft budget bill which the country's central bank and a number of social partners have severely criticized.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's draft budget features a thirty-five billion euro spending plan and fiscal policies focusing mainly on helping families and businesses struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

Giorgia Meloni's draft budget bill also includes plans to raise the legal limit for cash transactions from one thousand to five thousand euros and allowing retailers to refuse digital payments for transactions valued at less than sixty euros.

The Bank of Italy has slammed this proposal, saying higher cash thresholds favors the black economy, a position shared by some trade unions and the national entrepreneurs association Confindustria.

Credit card use has been steadily on the rise throughout the eurozone in recent years, but not in Italy. The Italians rather use cash for their day-to-day purchases despite numerous incentives to encourage electronic payments.

According to the national bureau of statistics ISTAT the underground economy in Italy was estimated at over one hundred and eighty billion euros in 2019, equivalent to about twelve percent of gross domestic product. Half of that, around ninety billion euros, was estimated to be tax evasion.

The draft budget bill will now be reviewed by the government and sent to Brussels for approval before it is passed. 

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