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Berlusconi pledges tax cuts in election run-up

Ex-premier plans to move tax burden 'from people to things'

Berlusconi pledges tax cuts in election run-up

Rome, February 12 - Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday pledged to reduce the tax burden in Italy in a bid to lead the centre right to victory in general elections on February 24 and 25. "Everyone knows we think it is possible and necessary to reduce public spending in order to reduce fiscal pressure," the three-time premier told a forum organized by ANSA. "Our aim is to reduce tax pressure by one percentage point a year and public spending by two," with a possible savings of 16 billion euros a year, he said. Berlusconi added that his coalition intends to introduce just two income-tax brackets instead of the present five in the event of election victory as part of efforts to shift the tax burden "from people to things". The centre right also plans to scrap the regional business tax IRAP entirely over four years, he said. A recent media blitz by Berlusconi has allowed his centre-right coalition to narrow the gap with the centre-left coalition led by Democratic Party (PD) Secretary Pier Luigi Bersani, still the frontrunner as of last Friday when the last opinion polls to be published before the elections were released. The media magnate has said that he does not want to be premier again in the event of victory but that he would prefer to head up the economy ministry instead.

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