Italian premier presents economic measures on energy, family

Nov 22, 2022, 5:37 AM | Updated: 5:48 am
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni talks to journalists during a press conference to present the 2023 p...

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni talks to journalists during a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni presented the government’s first economic policy initiatives Tuesday, announcing 21 billion euros in budget tweaks that would be used to help industry and families cope with soaring energy prices, as well as measures to incentivize couples to have more children and businesses to hire more women.

The budget modifications show a clear political shift, doing away with a basic income and a decade-old pension reform that Meloni and her right-wing allies have long attacked while coming up with new measures to promote Italy’s perennially low birth rate.

Most of the money was earmarked to maintain campaign promises to offer further help to families and businesses coping with a surge in energy costs, and was on top of more than 60 billion euros already pledged by the previous government of Mario Draghi.

Meloni said the “courageous” and clearly political choices focused on two main priorities: helping Italian industry grow despite the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and socio-economic initiatives for low-income families.

The bulk of the adjustment went to tax credits and other measures to help businesses keep producing while also incentivizing them to hire women and young workers. Italy has one of the lowest rates of women in the workplace in the OECD.

Other measures also signaled a shift from previous governments, including a phase-out by the end of next year of the so-called “citizens’ wage,” the crowning achievement of the 5-Star Movement, which was in power from 2018-2021. Meloni had vowed to abolish the expanded welfare program altogether during the campaign, arguing that it encouraged people to stay on welfare when they could work and was abused by fraudsters.

The changes announced Tuesday would knock eligible workers out of the system after eight months or after they refuse a job offer, and requires recipients to actually live in Italy.

Meloni also outlined a series of initiatives to address Italy’s low birthrate. The country has one of the world’s lowest birthrates and one of its oldest populations, a “demographic winter” that experts have warned about for decades given the implications for the country’s costly pension system.

To encourage families to have more children, Meloni announced a 50% increase in the “baby bonus” checks parents receive the first year after the birth of a child and a 50% increase for three years for families with more than three children. Women who choose to extend maternity leave beyond five months for an extra month can do so on 80% of their salary rather than 30%. Meloni, Italy’s first woman premier, also announced a reduced tax on feminine hygiene products and items for newborns.

“We continue to look at today, not realizing we won’t have a tomorrow,” Meloni said of the declining birthrate.

Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini also announced changes to the pension system, saying people who continue working after 41 years of contributing into the pension system would receive a 10% bonus. He also announced that the government had taken the first steps to reactivate a decades-long, on-again-off-again project to build a bridge between Sicily and the Italian mainland and intended to seek EU funding for it.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, center, Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, left, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility Matteo Salvini arrive at a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni followed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility Matteo Salvini arrive at a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, center, Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, left, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility Matteo Salvini arrive at a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni talks to journalists during a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni arrives to start a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni talks to journalists during a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni talks to journalists during a press conference to present the 2023 proposed budget in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

AP

Associated Press

Chicago police arrest 2 men in fatal shooting of girl, 12

CHICAGO (AP) — Two men have been arrested and charged with murder in the fatal March shooting of a girl who was struck in the head by a stray bullet after celebrating her 12th birthday, Chicago police said Tuesday. Malik Parish, 22, and Abdul Ali, 20, were arrested on Sunday, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown […]
17 hours ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the top of a meeting with congressional leaders to discuss legislativ...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What to know on Congress’ bid to bar rail strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is asking Congress to intervene to avert a potentially crippling freight rail strike before Christmas and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling a vote this week to do so, even if it means handing a defeat to Democratic allies in the labor movement. The legislation urged by Biden and […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Vet’s lawsuit blaming antimalarial drug for psychosis tossed

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge threw out a lawsuit against the maker of an anti-malarial drug blamed for causing psychotic behavior and neurological damage to U.S. servicemembers, ruling that the case had no right to be filed in California. The proposed class-action case brought last year by an Army veteran accused Roche Laboratories […]
17 hours ago
Attorneys for Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, James Lee Bright, center left, and Edward Tarpley...
Associated Press

Oath Keepers boss guilty of seditious conspiracy in 1/6 case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was convicted Tuesday of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn President Joe Biden’s election, handing the Justice Department a major victory in its massive prosecution of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection A Washington, D.C., jury found Rhodes guilty of sedition after three days of deliberations […]
17 hours ago
In this satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies, lava flows from the Mauna Loa volcano on th...
Associated Press

Hawaii volcano eruption has some on alert, draws onlookers

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — The first eruption in 38 years of the world’s largest active volcano is attracting onlookers to a national park for “spectacular” views of the event, and it’s also dredging up bad memories among some Hawaii residents who have been through harrowing volcanic experiences in the past. It was just four years […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Plea deal in attacks on California Planned Parenthood clinic

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Southern California man has admitted he fired BB guns at a Planned Parenthood clinic on at least 11 occasions and has agreed to plead guilty to two crimes stemming from the investigation, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Admissions by Richard Royden Chamberlin, 54, are contained in a plea agreement filed in […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Italian premier presents economic measures on energy, family