Rome

Italy evaluating VAT measures, finance minister says

Saccomanni says country's economic situation has worsened

Italy evaluating VAT measures, finance minister says

Rome, June 13 - Italian Finance Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said the government is evaluating ''a series of options'' in relation to the promised suspension of announced value added tax (VAT) increases, including the delay of these measures for a few months until the public accounts situation ''improves'', according to comments the official made on Thursday. ''The situation is showing signs that are not exactly encouraging, and the outlook is worsening. Not only is the growth deceleration still serious, but there are also negative data with regards to the fiscal and VAT influx'', said Saccomanni. The government official said the options currently being studied by the government include blocking the planned increase of VAT to 22% from the current 21%, scheduled for July this year, which would cost the state some 4 billion euros a year, as well as delaying the measures for a few months. The left-right government headed by Premier Enrico Letta is on a mission to kickstart economic growth in the eurzone's third-largest economy through a series of announced measures including VAT and real estate tax revisions, labour cut costs and consumption-boosting initiatives. Italy's economy has contracted for a record seven straight quarters and is slated to do so an additional 1.3% in 2013, according to government forecasts.

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