From cutting the tax wedge to the new Irpef, from pensions to healthcare: here are all the new features of the 2024 budget

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By John

Work, pensions and family. With the (few) available resources concentrated on low incomes, and on measures to support the birth rate. But also on healthcare and a first round of renewals of PA contracts. The second maneuver of the Meloni government comes to an end, which puts around 28 billion on the ground, including 4 billion for the new Irpef, of which more than half, almost 16 billion in extra deficit. Few important changes, from doctors’ and state pensions to the remodulation of funds for the Strait Bridge, arrived in the parliamentary passage, in a tortuous process which still led to the final approval close to New Year’s Eve despite the team order , at least for the majority, not to present amendments. With a queue of micromeasures which, although more contained than in the past, still found a place in the final text. Which also contains a series of new taxes, from the classic increase in cigarettes to the tourist tax for the Jubilee.

Cuneo, Irpef and pensions

At the end the text has 561 paragraphs. It confirms the wedge cut already in force since July (6 points less for incomes up to 35 thousand euros and 7 for those up to 25 thousand), which however will not apply to thirteenth grades and is refinanced only for 2024. To strengthen the the new Irpef also has an effect, which goes from four to three rates with the merging of the first two brackets (23% will be applied on incomes up to 28 thousand euros): the combined effect of the wedge and Irpef, according to the Treasury, will increase employee paychecks up to 1,298 euros per year. Meanwhile for 2024. On the pension front, Quota 103 remains, but with penalties: 62 years of age and 41 years of contributions are confirmed, but the allowance will be recalculated with the contributory method and with a maximum monthly ceiling of around 2,250 euros. According to estimates, it will allow 17 thousand workers to leave early in 2024. The social Ape has been confirmed but the requirement increases (63 years and 5 months). There is also a new restriction for the women’s option: the minimum age rises from 60 to 61, with a discount of one year per child up to a maximum of two. During the work in the Senate there was also a partial reverse on the disputed cut to the pensions of healthcare personnel, local authorities, judicial offices and teachers. The rights acquired as of 31 December 2023 will be preserved and old-age pensions will not be affected. Early bookings remain penalised. Doctors and nurses will, however, be able to see their salary reduced if they postpone leaving and will be able to remain in the ward for up to 70 years. In the home chapter, the coupon on short-term rentals rises (to 26%, excluding however the first rental property) and large families will have priority in accessing the Mortgage Fund for their first home. Furthermore, latecomers are given more time (until 15 January 2024) to set IMU rates. The funds have been restructured (11.6 billion by 2032) for the Strait Bridge, with a reduction in the burdens borne by the State by 2.3 billion, recovered, not without stomach ache for the regions involved, from the Development and Cohesion Fund. The common front of the opposition allows 40 million (of the small parliamentary treasure) to be allocated to measures against violence against women. Finally, VAT on diapers rises from 5% to 10%, as well as on powdered milk and female sanitary pads. The 10% VAT on pellets has also been extended until February.

Work and business

Here comes the maxi deduction for permanent hires, which rises further for mothers or unemployed women, young people and former beneficiaries of Citizenship Income up to 130%. The tax exemption for productivity bonuses at 5% has been confirmed, while the exemption threshold for fringe benefits has changed (1000 euros for everyone, 2 thousand for workers with children), which can also be used to pay rent and a first home mortgage. For companies there is a 50% discount on taxes for those who return to produce in Italy. The entry into force of the plastic and sugar tax has been postponed to July 2024. The obligation to insure against catastrophes has arrived: companies that evade this are subject to fines of 100,000 to 500,000 euros. For the renewals of PA contracts, 8 billion arrive in two years, and another 100 million to cover the union agreement on security forces contracts.

Healthcare

The refinancing of the national health system is expected, interventions for Red Cross staff and an increase in resources for the 2022-2024 contracts. There is also an increase in the voucher for nursery school fees and for home support for children up to 3 years old and suffering from serious chronic pathologies. The National Intervention Fund for the fight against drugs is established (5 million for three years) and the Fund is created to help those over 65 with low ISEE to cover veterinary expenses. To address the shortage of personnel in public healthcare and reduce waiting lists, the right to resort to increases in the hourly rates of additional services of medical staff is extended until 31 December 2026. Furthermore, a quota of 50 million for 2024 and 200 million from 2025 is earmarked for updating the Essential Levels of Assistance (Lea). The allocation of the Alzheimer’s Fund is increased by approximately 35 million over three years.

Culture, universities and Rai

The tax credit for cinema is changing, it will be a maximum of 40% but access to the credit may be reduced or excluded. For selective contributions, in relation to the artistic quality of the work, a commission of experts appointed by the Ministry of Culture will intervene. The ministry will then be able to have a share of the proceeds from concerts or exhibitions to be allocated to the protection and valorisation of cultural assets and activities. The Italian capital of contemporary art is also arriving and, on the basis of a selection procedure, one million will be assigned from 2024. The Rai license fee in the bill is reduced, going from 90 to 70 euros. On the education front, 36 million more are arriving for scholarships for university students. Green light also given to the Italian Erasmus Fund with a total investment of 10 million.