ROME, May 14 (Reuters) - Italy has approved the latest in a series of spending measures aimed at helping families and companies hit by the new coronavirus.
The package will raise Italy’s budget deficit by 55 billion euros ($59.6 billion). It also includes many measures worth billions of euros that will not impact the bottom-line deficit.
Following are some of the key measures:
- The government promises to pay 12 billion euros of outstanding bills to public sector suppliers.
- It scraps the payment of a regional tax on businesses (IRAP) scheduled for June. The 4-billion-euro scheme applies only to firms with annual revenues of up to 250 million euros.
- It offers 6 billion euros of grants to various categories of small companies — a maximum 40,000 euro per firm.
- 600 million euros earmarked to lower energy bills.
- The creation of an equity fund to enable state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) to help core companies in difficulty and protect them from possible foreign predators.
- Additional tax breaks to reimburse 60% of rents paid by firms with revenues of up to 5 million.
- The Treasury will offer state guarantees for up to 15 billion euros of new bonds issued by local banks, enabling the government to support the sector for up to a year.
- State aid aimed at encouraging healthy lenders to take over small failing banks.
- Measures to discourage companies from moving abroad and help them to ward off hostile takeovers.
- More than 15 billion euros set aside for temporary lay-off schemes, to help firms furlough staff rather than sack them. It forbids firms from firing employees until mid-August.
- Grants offered to families to pay for childcare, coupons available to encourage people to go on holiday in Italy.
- A compensation scheme offering 600 euros for April to self-employed whose turnover has tumbled.
- Payments of between 400-840 euros per month for a maximum two months for people who have no income or pension.
- Up to 500 euros offered to encourage people to buy bicycles and electric scooters.
- Tax breaks for people carrying out home improvements to reduce energy consumption and comply with anti-seismic rules. Rome would refund over the space of five years 110 euros for every 100 euros spent from July 2020 until the end of 2021.
- Temporary work permits offered to irregular migrants enabling them to find jobs on farms and as carers.
- The decree cancels an automatic increase in sales taxes due in 2021. It also delays the introduction of a planned tax on plastic and sugary drinks.
- More than 3.2 billion euros set aside for the health sector, including money for hiring doctors and nurses.
$1 = 0.9171 euros Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Angus MacSwan