(ANSA) - Rome, September 18 - The House whip for ex-premier
Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party
on Wednesday called on Premier Enrico Letta to deny the
possibility of a hike in value-added tax (VAT) following a
government deal to scrap a controversial homeowners' tax known
"We are certain the premier will honor his commitments,"
added Renato Brunetta, the architect of the PdL's recent tax
initiatives, referring to promises he says Letta made to keep
VAT taxes from rising upon the formation of the left-right
coalition government in April.
According to Italian media Wednesday, the economy ministry
was planning to go ahead with a planned hike on the top tier of
VAT, from 21% to 22%, starting October 1, as a result of the PdL
pressuring the government to follow through on Berlusconi's
campaign promise to roll back IMU.
"Either we fund the abolition of IMU, or we fund blocking a
rise in VAT. Both things are not possibile," economy ministry
sources told Italian daily La Repubblica.
The remarks followed statements Tuesday from European
Monetary and Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn before an
Italian Senate committee, in which he said the government's
decision to scrap IMU to appease the PdL "has raised and still
raises concern" due to the problem it creates in finding
alternative revenue in an already tight budget.