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2014 budget approved

Italian fiscal plan for next year passes by 167 to 110

23 December, 18:29
2014 budget approved (ANSA) - Rome, December 23 - The Italian government's 2014 budget received final approval in the Senate on Monday, with a package of changes worth approximately 14.7 billion euros. The budget passed in the Senate by a vote of 167 in favour and 110 opposed. Critics charge the measures are too timid on growth while the government says it is the first budget in years to lower taxes.

Business associations, trade unions and opposition parties have said that it fails to do enough to revive the recession-battered Italian economy and is too cautious with cuts to labour and income taxes.

However, Premier Enrico Letta has hit back, saying he cannot be "Father Christmas" with public money and arguing that the bill should be praised for presenting tax cuts, albeit modest ones, after years of austerity.

At the same time, he added, the budget has kept Italy's budget-to-deficit ratio within the 3% threshold set by the European Union and has taken action to reduce a massive public debt of over two trillion euros.