Italy budget lowers pension age, has basic income for poor - ministers

Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio speaking during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s 2019 budget approved by the cabinet on Monday includes a basic income for the poor, lowers the retirement age and offers a partial amnesty to settle tax disputes, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his top ministers told reporters on Monday.

Speaking after the cabinet signed off on the budget bill, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said the basic income to relieve poverty would kick off within the first quarter of the year.

Economy Minister Giovanni Tria denied reports that he planned to resign after the budget has been approved by parliament, and said he was confident he could explain the expansionary package to a worried European Commission.

“The idea that this budget can blow up Europe is totally unfounded,” he said.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones