The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is protecting his country from falling into a debt crisis by proposing austerity measures to reduce the budget deficit by 47 billion euros in order to be balanced by 2014.
Berlusconi said in a press conference in Rome that In some countries, they have cut state employees and their salaries by 15 percent, but added, We haven't put our hands in the pockets of Italians.
The cabinet passed the measures, but also should be approved by the parliament by the end of this summer, the Premier said in the conference. Without a balanced budget, there can't be development in the future, we all agreed on this. Berlusconi said. In addition, the opposition should back the proposal, where 40 billion euros are to be cut from the budget in 2013 and 2014.
Finance minister, Giulio Tremonti, controlled the deficit and narrowed the gap to 4.6% of last year's GDP compared to the euro zone average of 6%.
The cabinet also approved to adjust the taxation system in order to contain evasions as Tremonti explained during the conference, adding that income-tax brackets will be reduced to three from five, adjusting the tax rate on top earners to 40% from the previous of 43%.
The package is a balanced budget plan that mixes higher profits with more spending cuts, the minister said. We've done all we needed to do to reach the deficit target for 2011, and with this budget plan we are on course to reach the target for the next years, he added.
The cuts will include reducing compensation and benefits for politicians. Tremonti said Italy should be looking for a recalculation to the salaries, based on the average in major euro nations.
Standard & poor's and Moody warned to downgrade Italy's credit rating in June, where Moody's warnings supported the demand for Italian 10-year maturity bonds over other alternative bonds.
The country's growth rate slightly inclined by 0.1 during the first quarter compared to the growth of 0.8% in the euro zone.