No supplementary budget in 2018 - Tria

Will 'study' flat tax within coherent fiscal framework

(ANSA) - Rome, July 3 - There will be no supplementary corrective budget in 201, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said Tuesday.
    Tria said the goal was to boost growth while leaving fiscal targets unchanged.
    He said the government would work to get room for manoeuvering from the EU.
    Tria said that the ministry would study the government's proposed 'flat tax' within a "coherent spending framework". The flat tax, to be introduced for businesses this year and households next, is in fact a dual tax with rates of 15% and 20%, the cut-off being 80,000 euros a year.
    It was a flagship campaign pledge of the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League party of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is also deputy premier in the populist League-Five Star (M5S) government along with anti-establishment M5S leader Luigi Di Maio, the labour and industry minister.
    The government's "primary aim is to pursue economic growth within the framework of social cohesion through a fiscal policy" that contemplates "the ongoing reduction of the debt-to-GDP ratio", Tria told the House and Senate Budget Committees on Tuesday. "Further, we will continue to move in a direction that does not worsen the structural balance," he said. Tria also warned of the risk of a "moderate" downwards revision of GDP growth forecasts for 2018. "Though the outlook is positive recent data suggest that growth will continue throughout the second quarter but at a slower rate" than during the same period in 2017, the minister said. "The most recent internal estimates suggest that the second quarter will show a similar growth rate" to the first, Tria added. The economy minister also told the budget committees that it is not the government's "intention" to "adopt any corrective measure during the course of the year".
    "It is still possible to close the 2018 balance with the scheduled debt confirmed in the Economic and Financial Document (Italy's economic planning blueprint)," Tria said.
    Tria added that Italy needs a turnaround in investments or it will be tough to negotiate on them in the EU.
    He also said one of the government's priorities is to first cut taxes on low and medium income households and small businesses. The government is united and no one want to break the budget, Tria said, addressing speculation Salvini will want to push through the flat tax at the expense of EU parameters.
    A property tax is not on the agenda, Tria concluded.