Rome

IMU cut plus VAT freeze 'preposterous' says economy minister

'Doing both would force spending cuts elsewhere'

IMU cut plus VAT freeze 'preposterous' says economy minister

Rome, June 13 - The Italian economy minister on Thursday said rolling back the unpopular IMU property tax without raising a value-added tax by 1% was "preposterous" and would force spending cuts elsewhere. Speaking before the Senate, Fabrizio Saccomanni said eliminating IMU, as the center right demands, would cost four billion euros. Freezing a VAT increase scheduled next month, taking it from 21% to 22%, would cost another four billion euros, he said. The total eight-billion-euro public cost, said Saccomani, "would force compensatory measures of extreme severity, which at the moment is preposterous". Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, founder of the center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, has vowed that unless the fragile left-right coalition government scraps the IMU, he will bring about its collapse.

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