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Italy budget: Parliament passes budget after EU standoff

Italy budget: Parliament passes budget after EU standoff

The most controversial Italian budget was revised after EU’s critic and approved by Parliament. The financial plan for 2019 contains lowered deficit from 2.4% of GDP to 2.04% – less of a reduction than Brussels officials had hoped for.

Amid opposition complaints that it was dictated by the EU, Italian Parliament has approved the budget for the next year, the most human financial plan ever. Prime Minister has hailed the budget as “the first step of a broad and ambitious plan of reform”, saying it would kick-start the country’s economic growth. The pro-European MPs still argue that a budget does not create investment incentives, and that hurts the small and medium business.

The budget will still see the introduction of a basic payment of around €780 a month for those on low incomes, a policy for which the government has set aside somewhere in the region of €10bn. Since October, the European Commission was raising concerns about the impact of unacceptable spending on Italy’s debt levels, the plan was rejected. Guiseppe Conti’s cabinet was told to revise the plan or face fines and disciplinary action.

Matteo Salvini, Guiseppe Conti defended the budget for 2019

The populist Conti’s government had originally vowed to push through costly campaign promises including a universal basic income. After harsh critics from Brussels, PM has to improve the state financial plan and revise the figures in its deficit part.

Under a deal struck with the Commission last week, the budget was re-sent to the EC, which bulked at the costly policies Italy looked to introduce despite having proportionally the second highest public debt in the Eurozone after Greece, taking the unprecedented step of asking Rome to re-draft the plan.