Rome

Promise to scrap IMU 'nice try' to buy votes, says Monti

Berlusconi vows to abolish unpopular housing tax

Promise to scrap IMU 'nice try' to buy votes, says Monti

Rome, February 4 - Outgoing Premier Mario Monti said on Monday that ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's promise to scrap a highly unpopular housing tax if his coalition wins in the upcoming elections was a "nice try to corrupt Italians with their own money". Berlusconi wants to "buy Italians' votes with Italians' money," Monti said in an interview on RTL 102.5 radio. Berlusconi, who has said he will be finance minister if his center-right coalition wins the February 24-25 general elections, promised he will scrap the tax on first homes known as the IMU. "This tax has caused Italian families worry, anxiety and fear for the future," said Berlusconi. The house tax, which Monti reintroduced after Berlusconi abolished it in 2008, has come under fire from all sides of the political spectrum. Berlusconi also said his coalition abolish, over the a regional business tax, not increase VAT and said would not introduce a wealth tax on high earners. The introduction of a wealth tax has also caused public debate since Monti took office to try to save the struggling economy in November 2011. Such a tax has broad support among left-wing politicians but meets with opposition from moderate members of the centre-left and the centre-right.

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