>>>ANSA/ Election 2018: Democratic Party manifesto

Tax breaks, cuts in family and business-friendly programme

>>>ANSA/ Election 2018: Democratic Party manifesto

(By Denis Greenan). Rome, February 14 - The Democratic Party's (PD) 100-point manifesto, recently presented by leader and ex-premier Matteo Renzi, is a wide-ranging, family-friendly programme of tax breaks and cuts aimed at wooing the middle classes and lower-income voters while pleasing the business community. Renzi has proposed a big tax break for couples with children and said the PD aims to boost GDP by more than 2% and create one million new jobs. Renzi says the manifesto proposes a "universal" 240-euro IRPEF personal income tax break for dependent children up to the age of 18 and 80 euros up to the age of 26. The measure will cost some nine billion euros, according to costing by PD experts. "It will be valid for all, from zero to 100,000 euros a year", Renzi says. He says this contrasts with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement's (M5S) 'universal wage' or basic income, which Renzi says encourages workers to leave their jobs and also gives firms an excuse to fire people. The programme also proposes a three-year instrument of 400 euros a month for each child up to three years of age for nursery schools and baby sitters. That will cost 1.1 billion, the programme says. In other measures, the PD programme envisages severance pay for temporary jobs that do not become steady ones. Labour costs will be cut via a structural reduction of 4 percentage points in contributions, from 33% to 29%. "Steady work is worth more, and it must cost less," the programme says. The programme also envisages a six-month card for free rail travel for those who lose their jobs. In other points, the programme proposes a "fiscal points license" where those who pay their taxes correctly get "advantages, fiscal and others". The PD is aiming to get "up to 30 billion euros" from the fight against tax evasion, the manifesto says, and aims to introduce a "fiscal model valorising the contrast in interests in a logic based on the message 'claim everything, everybody claims". The programme also envisages the extension of an 80-euro-a-month tax break to those declaring VAT and a fresh drop in the IRES and IRI business taxes, to 22%. In other moves, the manifesto proposes a minimum wage, to be agreed on with the social partners, and keeping museums open till midnight. As well as aiming to boost youth employment, the programme also gives an incentive of 150 euros for those who decide to leave the nest early. It aims to continue structural reforms, including the reduction of the license fee for State broadcaster RAI, which will be scrapped for the lowest earners. Here are bullet points of the manifesto: - CUT TO COSTS OF TURNING TEMP TO STEADY JOBS: The PD aims to continue incentivising moves from temp to steady contracts, not only by cutting contributions from 33% to 29% but also by making temp contracts more expensive via a 'payout' to those who are not given long-term contracts. The PD is aiming to create a million jobs by the end of the legislative term. - MINIMUM WAGE: To combat underpaid jobs, a minimum wage will be agreed with unions and business, subject to sanctions if not applied. Gender parity in pay is also a priority. - FAMILY PACKAGE, FROM KIDS' DISCOUNTS TO WORKING MUMS: The package is worth about 10 billon euros and ranges from a new 400-euro card for nurseries and baby sitters to tax breaks of 240 euros a month, which become 80 euros between the ages of 18 and 26. Also an incentive for mothers to get back to work and the obligation to grant 'smart working' during the re-entry phase. - POINTS TAX LICENSE, REWARDS FOR 'LOYAL' TAXPAYERS: To boost tax loyalty the PD proposes a "points license" giving advantages to those who pay regularly. Crackdown on tax evasion too, with proceeds of 30 million euros seen. - FREE TRAVEL FOR NEETS AND THOSE WHO LOSE THEIR JOBS: A free six-month travel card for those who lose their jobs in their first six months of unemployment, or those not in employment, education, or training, valid in a 50km radius from homes. - LED LIGHTING, DIGITAL REFORM, SPENDING REVIEW: The PD aims to recover one percentage point of GDP through a spending review, the computerisation of the civil service and LED lighting in all public offices. - MORE CYCLE PATHS, 'GREEN' CARS: Cars used by the civil service and public sector in general will be mostly electric. Among the 100 points, also an increase in cycle paths and the construction of four national cycle ways. - MUSEUMS UP TILL MIDNIGHT, CULTURE PLAN 4.0: The existing art bonus will be boosted, and museums will stay open till midnight, while cultural firms will get incentives in the 'Culture Plan 4.0'. MORE POLICE, 50,000 MORE CCTV CAMERAS: Some 10,000 extra police will be hired to increase the "presence in the local areas and the perception of security". Some 50,000 new surveillance cameras will be installed across Italy. The PD is allied with smaller centre-left groups including the +Europa party of former foreign minister and former European commissioner Emma Bonino. Here are the essential points of the +Europa manifesto: - MORE EUROPE IN ITALY, MORE ITALY IN EUROPE: Bonino means to fight to increase European integration and a greater mutual say between Europe and Rome. - 5-YEAR PUBLIC SPENDING FREEZE, LABOUR TAX CUTS: In order to freeze public spending for five years, Bonino says, taxes on employment need to be cut and financed by VAT hikes and, less so, by property tax hikes. - IUS SOLI, ENCOURAGE MIGRANT INTEGRATION: Bonino means to resume the fight for a 'ius soli' law on citizenship for the children of long-term immigrants. - LEGALISATION OF CANNABIS FOR THERAPEUTIC ENDS: Bonino also means to carry on this fight.

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