News ID: 270443
Published: 0424 GMT June 22, 2020

Italy PM says budget deficit likely to rise further amid pandemic

Italy PM says budget deficit likely to rise further amid pandemic
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (REMO CASILLI/REUTERS)

Italy’s budget deficit, currently projected to reach 10.4 percent of domestic output this year, is likely to expand further as the country tries to prop up the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

Measures to avoid layoffs as well as to help struggling sectors such as tourism could not wait until September, when the government would present a comprehensive plan to relaunch the economy after the coronavirus crisis, he said, Reuters reported.

“A further increase in the budget deficit is likely,” Conte told a press conference.

He said the government was worried about weak consumer spending and had discussed a possible sales tax reduction, but no decision had been taken on such a costly measure.

The government was working instead to reduce the gap between a worker’s gross and net salary, commonly known as the “tax wedge”, he said.

Conte said a single ultra-fast broadband network, a push towards digital payments and the transition to renewable energy sources would be the planks of the September plan.

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