Berlusconi Chooses Retirement Delays Instead Of Tax On Wealthy In New Austerity Plan


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A new austerity proposal in Italy provoked an outcry today, with popular criticism leveled from all sides.The latest incarnation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s newest austerity plan favours pension cuts and delays in the retirement age over an increase in taxes on the rich.

It also proposes a constitutional amendment that would do away with provincial governments.

Instead of a “solidarity tax” levied against citizens who earn more than $130,000 per year, these new cuts would prohibit workers from counting time spent in the military or in college in calculating their retirement ages. This could delay retirement—particularly for professionals—for years.

MPs—whose number would also be cut by half in the deal—would still have to pay the tax.

Experts cited by WSJ questioned the feasibility of this plan, as well as the likelihood that a stronger stance against tax evasion would make significant strides in reducing Italy’s more $2.7 trillion public debt.