Rome

VAT hike will be averted, vows PdL minister

Govt working to plug revenue hole after IMU reform

VAT hike will be averted, vows PdL minister

(see related) Rome, 29 August - A government minister from the centre-right party of Silvio Berlusconi said "the value added tax (VAT) will not rise" following an agreement to reform a property tax known as IMU. "Raising taxes would be a negative sign," added Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi. The government will deal with this problem "by September 30". Lupi was responding to statements made by Deputy Economy Minister Stefano Fassina, from the center-left Democratic Party (PD), who said that a government agreement reached Wednesday to reform IMU will force an "irreparable" hike in VAT scheduled October 1 in order to plug a subsequent multi-billion-euro revenue hole. Analysts now fear that a new debate may erupt within the fragile left-right government, after months of threats from the PdL to topple the government if it refused to scrap IMU, Berlusconi's main bugbear. "It seems to me that as soon as a problem is fixed, somebody races to put another hurdle in front of the government," said Lupi.

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