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Italy's tax burden climbs to 44%

Fourth-highest in eurozone, sixth-highest in EU

06 December, 11:44
Italy's tax burden climbs to 44% (ANSA) - Rome, December 6 - Italy's tax burden climbed to 44% of gross domestic product in 2012, compared to 42.5% in 2011, the Bank of Italy said Friday.

This means the country has the fourth-highest tax burden in the eurozone, alongside Finland, and the sixth-highest in the European Union as a whole.

The high tax level is widely seen as a factor in recession-hit Italy's poor economic performance over the last decade.

There is also widespread dissatisfaction at the level of public services people receive in return for the high taxes.

Several recent Italian government's, including Premier Enrico Letta's current left-right coalition, has made a priority of fighting rampant tax evasion, which is part of the reason taxes here are so high.

Letta's 2014 budget bill features modest cuts to labour and income taxes, but these measures have been criticised for not going far enough.