New maneuver, a mini-amnesty for small building violations is in sight


By John

The government rewrites the law that introduces the tax on banks’ extra profits and puts in place the Antitrust Authority which will ensure that institutions do not pass on the weight of the tax they will have to pay from this year to their customers. A majority agreement, resulting in a government amendment to the Asset decree, which fully satisfies Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani and his party, so much so that Forza Italia will withdraw all the amendments presented. The tax changes but its revenue should not change, estimated by the government at just under 3 billion. Too little in any case to help a maneuver that is around 20-25 billion, and which does not want to touch the deficit too much in the year in which the Stability Pact returns. Whether old or new, the European budget constraint is already putting pressure on the government ahead of Thursday’s Nadef, pushing it to look elsewhere for oxygen necessary for key measures, such as that cut in the tax wedge which alone requires at least ten billion. And to achieve the goal, every path is legitimate: even that of a new building amnesty that the deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini puts on the table, unleashing the anger of the opposition. With a mini-amnesty, the deputy prime minister and minister in Piacenza explains to the Confedilizia audience, “the State cashes in and citizens can return to the full availability of their assets”, therefore he invites them to “go forward with courage to the end”. The need to reveal the income hidden from the tax authorities is already felt by the entire government which on Monday is preparing to launch, in the new decree with the measures on energy, an amnesty aimed at traders and self-employed people. Anyone who has committed violations on receipts and invoices will be able to get back into compliance within two and a half months by paying only a mini fine. And even for those who have paid less VAT than necessary, the penalties are halved. However, the funds that may arrive from the amnesties are small compared to the needs of the budget law. This is why the tax on extra profits was an emergency, as was its modification, which although it changes the tax base and the levy ceiling, helps the banks without putting the government’s revenues at risk. The amendment recalibrates the levy for the two-year period 2021-23 and sets the maximum tax ceiling at 0.26% (instead of 0.1%). But the tax base changes: no longer the total assets but the overall amount of exposure to risk, a clarification which therefore excludes government bonds. Furthermore, banks will be able to choose whether to pay the tax or strengthen their capital: they are given the possibility of paying two and a half times the tax into a reserve which cannot distribute profits but which is calculated «among the elements of primary class 1 capital », that is, it strengthens the capital of the banks. Aware that there will not be resources to do everything, explains Salvini, the priority remains “increasing the salaries and pensions of those with the lowest incomes”. Tajani is on the same wavelength and reiterates that «the maneuver will be dedicated to cutting the tax wedge», but also to «reducing tax on thirteenth wages, production bonuses and overtime» and just starting to «also take a look at the pensions” with the aim of bringing them to one thousand euros per month “by the end of the legislature”. However, resources remain few, above all due to the Superbonus which has eliminated the margins of the deficit. For Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni “the numbers speak for themselves: 140 billion euros of hole taken away from healthcare, education, pensions, to renovate second homes and even castles”, she told Tg1.