Milan

Italian govt wants to introduce wealth tax, says Monti

Premier mindful of need to avoid capital leaving country

Italian govt wants to introduce wealth tax, says Monti

Milan, November 12 - The Italian government wants to introduce a wealth tax but it will have to take care to do so in a way that does not cause large amounts of capital to leave the country, Premier Mario Monti said Monday. "We'd like to introduce a general tax on wealth, but as we don't have the instruments (at the moment), we don't want to contribute to capital going away," Monti said. "It won't be introduced overnight. There are steps that we are taking". Monti has been criticised by many for hitting the poor, and working and middle classes too hard with his emergency technocrat government's austerity measures and not making the wealthier groups of society pay more. A wealth tax is a levy on the value of what a person owns, such as property, shares and savings, rather than on their income from labour or capital gains. "I'm not against a wealth tax but it will depend on how it works and how it will be used - either as a fiscal instrument or as a one-off measure," he added. "I don't want this to be considered too dramatic. Wealth taxes exist in some extremely capitalist countries".

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