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Spending review help middle, low-income families, says Renzi

Reforms to Senate not aimed at punishing regions

08 April, 12:33
Spending review help middle, low-income families, says Renzi (ANSA) - Rome, April 8 - Premier Matteo Renzi said Tuesday that a "key" priority of his government's current spending review is to protect middle- and low-income Italians who are taking home less than 1,500 euros monthly.

"It is clear that the spending review should be done, it is a priority," Renzi said.

"And in this spending review, the key criterion is that the...households that are below the 1,500 euros per month and cannot make it anymore".

He spoke as his cabinet was reviewing the government's economic blueprint that sets out priorities for the coming three years.

The Economic and Financial Document (DEF) was set for approval Tuesday so it can go through parliament and be presented to the European Union before the end of the month. It will feature Renzi's plans for 10 billion euros in income tax cuts targeting lower earners to boost the recovery, which is weak after Italy emerged from its longest postwar recession last year. The DEF is expected to forecast economic growth of 0.8% for 2014, higher than the European Commission's prediction of 0.6%, but less optimistic than the 1% of the last forecast. The blueprint is expected to put Italy's deficit-to-GDP ratio at 2.6% this year, under the EU threshold of 3%.

On Monday Renzi was huddled with spending review chief Carlo Cottarelli and economist MP Yoram Gutgeld to discuss possible savings. The government hopes to raise up to five billion euros from the review of public spending.

Meanwhile Tuesday, Renzi also said that his proposed reforms to the Senate are not designed to "punish" the regions.