Election 2018: M5S manifesto

Basic income, scrapping 400 laws inc Fornero and Good School

(ANSA) - Rome, February 15 - The election manifesto of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, recently presented with a solemn pledge by leader Luigi Di Maio, vows to scrap 400 "useless" laws to free up the Italian economy as well as pleasing voters by reforming an unpopular 2011 pension reform and teachers by reversing former centre-left premier Matteo Renzi's 'Good School' education reform.
    But the key plank of the manifesto is introducing a basic income, to ge given to all Italians and called 'a citizenship wage'.
    Di Maio says the law will cost some two billion euros, although the M5S's opponents say it is likely to be much more expensive.
    "This is one of our key pledges, and it will help pay for itself by the way it will ramp up the economy, as people spend more," Di Maio says.
    In order to implement the law, the M5S aims to revamp job centres to "really make supply and demand meet up" and introduce a Danish-style flexisecurity to help people back into jobs by retraining.
    "There will be continuous training for those who lose their jobs," Di Maio says.
    "With flexisecurity," the manifesto says, "companies are more competitive and people emerge from a condition of poverty".
    In another boost to the economy, the M5S plan to set up a public investment bank "for small companies, farmers and families".
    Taxes will also be cut to give the economy "the shot in the arm it needs," Di Maio says.
    The M5S also bids to do away with wasteful political spending and 'the costs of politics' in a vow Di Maio says "will restore 50 billion euros to Italian citizens".
    Despite a recent salary repayment scandal, the M5S styles itself as cleaner and more transparent alternative to what it views as corrupt traditional parties, and Di Maio has vowed to "make that difference ever clearer by driving through our manifesto".
    The M5S says it will scrap so-called 'golden pensions, parliamentary pensions, and "useless" political costs On the hot-button issue of migrants, where rightwing parties have vowed to deport all illegal migrants, the M5S instead says it wants to do away with "the business" linked to illegal immigration.
    Instead of ejecting all migrants, Di Maio says the party will implement "immediate repatriation" for all new irregular migrants coming to Italy's shores.
    The M5S also aims to set up commissions all over Italy to assess "within one month" whether migrants are entitled to stay in Italy or not.
    In order to boost security, where fears have been stoked by what other parties call a migrant "invasion", the M5S aims to hire 10,000 police officers and build two new prisons "to make citizens feel safer and give them a better impression that law and order are being respected," Di Maio says. The manifesto also promises a "relentless" fight against corruption, mafias and conflicts of interest, including employing undercover agents against organised crime groups, banning the corrupt from public life, and stiffening vote-buying penalties.
    Di Maio also says the M5S "will cut the length of trials" in Italy's snail-paced justice system, and provide "a certainty of punishment" to stop so many cases being timed out.
    The M5S will also "overcome", rather than outright ban, the 2011 Fornero pension reform which raises the retirement age to 67 by 2019.
    So-called 'heavy' jobs will be excluded from the reform and there will be a slow process of phasing in the pension age rise, while there will be a 'woman's option' and a 'quota 41' rule for calculating pensions.
    They programme also aims to "overcome" the Good School reform by using a "rational" hiring system tailored to schools' needs, boosting spending on education, and "abolishing precarious employment".
    In other points, the manifesto aims to: - Raise minimum pensions to 780 euros - Spend 17 billion euros on helping families with children - Safeguard families' savings - Make Italian energy 100% renewable - Create a 'smart nation' with new tech jobs - Cut taxes and boost the quality of life - Reduce the debt7GDP ratio by 40 points in 10 years - Valorise and safeguard what is 'made in Italy' The M5S is currently the top party in opinion polls, with about 28%, but is unlikely to win an outright majority.
    Di Maio has said he would like to see other "parties of good will" rally behind the manifesto, allowing the M5S to govern.