Italian economy minister says new budget cuts necessary

Claims 'ample room' to deliver 'quality services' at lower cost

Italian economy minister says new budget cuts necessary

(see related) Rome, July 25 - A new round of public spending cuts is in store for Italy, the Italian economy minister told the Senate finance commission on Thursday. Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni assured the finance commission that there was still "ample room" to slash waste and still provide Italian citizens "high quality" public services. Italy has repeatedly cinched its budget and raised taxes in recent years as various administrations have grappled with an outsized public debt, a tax-base weakened by years of recession and crisis brought on by spiralling interest rates in 2011 and 2012. "To support economic recovery and a prospect of sustainability to the country, as well as restructuring the tax burden, we must flank (these initiatives) with spending rationalization," said Saccomanni. The minister added that spending cuts were a "necessary condition for a permanent and meaningful reduction of the tax burden". Moreover, the minister said, "We must consolidate progress in spending controls accumulated over the course of the last few years and carry out new ones, permanently changing the criteria and procedures for budget procedures and the use of public resources''. "At the end of this route, a significant rethinking of the public machine will result". "There is ample room for rationalizing spending to obtain savings in many areas and to simplify the public apparatus without renouncing the delivery of high quality services".

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