Rome

Stability law needs some improvement, PD's Bersani says

Budget's tax reform, education cuts 'should be changed'

Stability law needs some improvement, PD's Bersani says

Rome, Oct 24 - A leader of one of the two main political parties backing the technocratic government of Italian Premier Mario Monti said Wednesday that a proposed, new budget law needs some improvement. After a meeting with Monti and Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli, during which the the proposed 'Stability Law' was outlined, Pier Luigi Bersani, head of the left-leaning Democratic Party (PD), broadly offered support but added that there were some ''defects'' which, ''through a dialogue with the political forces'' could be ironed out. ''Modifications are possible, keeping the same bottom lines,'' Bersani said, referring to the government's efforts to get the country's fiscal house in order even as it seeks to lighten the tax burden. ''This government, it has to be remembered, is trying to modify promises made by others. It's not easy for anyone,'' he added. The PD is part of a cross-party majority - whose biggest member is ex-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party - that is supporting Monti's government as it grapples with getting Italy's public finances under control. However Bersani said further cuts to schools were not acceptable and said more efforts had to be made to help the working class. ''Schools have already been hit; we have to stop to reason on how to achieve a well-made reform". Bersani also added that any tax relief must focus on the middle and working classes, and suggested eliminating some tax allowances. The PD, like the PdL, is also against current plans for lowering the bottom two tax brackets by 1% in exchange for a 1% VAT hike.

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