Rome

Business groups outraged over proposed tax on high incomes

Government proposes 3% tax on income over 150,000 euro

Business groups outraged over proposed tax on high incomes

Rome, October 25 - A proposed one-time "solidarity" tax of 3% on earnings above 150,000 euros triggered outrage from Italian business leaders Thursday. "There is already a rate of 3% of such income, adding another would be quite unfair," complained Aurelio Regina, vice president of big business lobby group Confindustria. "This is the only segment of the population that still spends and there is the problem of domestic consumption" in the economy, he added. The proposed tax, approved Wednesday by parliament's labour committee, is designed to raise cash to extend support to Italians left with out a job or a pension as a result of a recent changes in retirement laws known as the 'esodati'. Thursday, union leaders praised the idea as credible - so long as the money raised is properly used, said the general secretary of CISL, Raffaele Bonanni, in an interview on state-owned RAI Radio1. Earlier this year state pensions agency INPS calculated the number of 'esodati' - or, exiled ones - at about 390,000, though the figure has been disputed by Labour Minister Elsa Fornero who has so far earmarked funds for just over 100,000. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party complained in a statement that it was not properly consulted on the issue.

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