Salvini: Lega party would cut taxes in Italy

12 Aug 19

Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has said a future government led by his party would cut taxes, regardless of whether the EU tried to stop it.

The leader of the right-wing Lega party is pushing for a snap election after the relationship between his party and its coalition partner Five Star broke down.

He has embarked on a tour of the country, trying to gather support, and posted about his tax cut plans on social media at the weekend.

He posted on Facebook: “Taxes reduced to 15% for millions of Italian workers, fiscal peace with Equitalia [the old name for the country’s tax collection agency] for millions of Italians, no increase to VAT and a property tax reduction.”

The EU wants Italy to take steps to reduce its public debt, which in June reached 132% of its GDP, and has previously opposed tax cuts not matched by reductions in spending.

In December 2018, the Italian government was forced to compromise with Brussels after months of disagreements over spending plans.

Earlier this year, the European Commission threatened Rome with the prospect of launching a disciplinary process over its debt levels that could ultimately lead to a fine.

According to Reuters, Salvini told a rally on Friday: “If the European Union lets us [cut taxes] so much the better, if not we’ll do it anyway.”

Although Salvini’s Five Star counterpart and fellow deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio has also said he favours tax cuts, Salvini filed a motion of no confidence on Friday hoping to bring down the government.

The coalition, sworn in on 1 June 2018, fragmented over the year because its two leaders have found it difficult to agree on policy matters.

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