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Govt earmarks 1.5 billion euros to boost employment

Package cuts 794 mln in taxes for new hires in 2013-2016

26 June, 13:53
Govt earmarks 1.5 billion euros to boost employment (ANSA) - Rome, June 29 - The Italian government on Wednesday allocated a total of 1.5 billion euros to fund a package of measures aimed at tackling Italy's dramatic jobs crisis, Premier Enrico Letta said after a cabinet meeting. The package focuses in particular on the under-30s, with tax breaks for firms that take on people aged 15-29 on permanent full-time contracts. Out of the 1.5 billion euros, 794 million will fund tax breaks for new hires under 30 between 2013 and 2016; 500 million will go to the poorer southern regions and 294 to the other regions in the Centre-North. Other measures to boost youth employment in the South include 80 million euros to fund small enterprises, another 80 million to re-finance an Action and Cohesion plan aimed at the development of Italy's southern regions and 168 million for traineeships targeting youths who are out of school and jobless.

Unemployment in recession-hit Italy has reached a record high of 12% and one in four young people aged 15-24 are jobless.

Unemployment in southern Italy was 17.2% last year, according to national statistics agency Istat.

The package is intended to be part of measures to fight unemployment, ahead of this week's European Union summit, which will also focus on this problem.