Italy to set aside 2 bln euros to curb energy bills in 2022 budget

ROME, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Italy plans to set aside around 2 billion euros ($2.33 billion) next year to curb increases in gas and electricity prices for consumers in the face of surging global energy costs, the government’s draft budget plan shows.

Rome has already allocated more than 4 billion euros to keep energy bills down in the second half of this year by compensating power companies that cap their tariffs.

The draft budget plan, approved by Cabinet late on Tuesday, has been sent to the European Commission for approval and will be fleshed out and presented to parliament later this month.

It includes some 23 billion euros of expansionary measures, aimed at boosting economic growth in 2022 to 4.7% from 4.2% under an unchanged policy scenario.

Among a raft of measures, the government intends to allocate around 6 billion euros to cut income tax and 4 billion to finance tax breaks for corporate investments, the budget documents show.

$1 = 0.8587 euros Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, editing by Gavin Jones