January 12, 2018 / 12:17 PM / 2 years ago

A vote of no confidence: Italians doubt election pledges

The Italian flag waves in front of The "Altare della Patria" also known as "Vittoriano" downtown Rome, Italy, March 23, 2016. REUTES/ Stefano Rellandini

ROME (Reuters) - A vast majority of Italians do not like or believe any of the promises politicians have made ahead of an election for Italy’s 65th government in just over 70 years, according to a survey.

Parties across the political spectrum have unveiled a colorful array of policies ahead of the March 4 vote, which is unlikely to give any one group a mandate to govern alone.

Tax cuts, more public spending and changing European Union budget rules have become a clarion call for all major parties, and several have promised benefits for the poor.

But, when asked in a poll by Index Research which electoral promises they preferred and believed would become reality, 78.6 percent of people replied “none” of them.

According to the poll, broadcast on Thursday evening by TV channel La7, tax reduction was the most appealing and credible pledge, chosen by an optimistic 6.9 percent.

Reversing planned increases to the retirement age, championed by the right-wing Northern League and partially backed by its ally, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, gained favor with 3.5 percent of respondents.

Just 2.1 percent opted for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement’s “citizen’s wage”, a minimum income scheme which is echoed by Forza Italia and the governing Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, a chunky 36.4 percent told Index Research they would not vote at all.

Reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Mark Heinrich

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