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HomeEconomyExperts say Italy's cash payments plan violates spirit of EU deal

Experts say Italy's cash payments plan violates spirit of EU deal

By Giuseppe Fonte and Gavin Jones

ROME (Reuters) – A proposal in Italy’s draft budget is at odds with its previous pledge to encourage electronic payments as a way to boost tax compliance. One way, according to a former Italian finance ministry official who helped negotiate the deal.

One of the so-called policy “milestones” in the pandemic recovery plan agreed between Italy and Brussels in exchange for around

billion euros (208 Billions) of EU funding is to impose sanctions on retailers who refuse to accept credit card payments.

Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government intends to abolish the ban on accepting electronic settlements for purchases below 30 euros request, according to a budget approved by its

cabinet on Tuesday.

Economics professor Alessandro Santoro, a former finance ministry official who hammered out some terms of Rome’s recovery plan with Brussels under the previous government of Mario’s Draghi said that while Meloni’s plan might not formally break Italy’s contracts, it broke the spirit of Italy.

“The proposal to narrow the scope of the law previously introduced with an obligation for sellers to accept electronic payments, Santoro told Reuters, was inconsistent with previous commitments to encourage electronic purchases as a way to improve tax compliance. .For details on how to apply them, Rome may have managed to avoid the risk of a conflict with Brussels.

“The program is formally in line with an EU-funded programme,” Santoro said.

Meloni is more cash-indulgent than her predecessors, which critics say could encourage tax evaders in a country where tax evasion exceeds 67 billion euros a year , according to the Ministry of Finance.

The budget also increased the cash payment limit to 5,19 euros fr om before The limit is 1, euros starting next year.

Sanctions are imposed in the amount of 21 EUR plus 4% of the transaction value, is one of the conditions of 000 The billion euro portion of the recovery fund that Rome received in the first half of the year.

Italy has so far received nearly 67 BILLION EURO, about 200 BILLION EURO OF EU FUNDS WILL BE MADE VIA

.

It is eligible for a further 19 billion euros at the end of this year, provided it can be completed as 200 30 goals and milestones set for the second half of the year. ($1=0.2026 EUR)

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