Italian unions took strike action today against Mario Monti’s draconian austerity budget.
Here’s an alternative that the CGIL, the country’s largest trade union confederation, asked the prime minister to consider in talks on Sunday, but was rebuffed.
The austerity budget of the new unelected government of Mario Monti includes Euros 20 billion in spending cuts.
The CGIL says the budget, or manovra
is not fair, hits low incomes the hardest, will undermine consumer spending, deepen the recession and lengthen the jobless queues
those who have more should pay more, starting with those who have never paid*
* tax evaders.
The CGIL wants the Government to:
- Maintain the indexation of medium-to-low pensions
- Maintain the right to retire on a full pension after 40 years
- Protect all workers who are or will be made redundant because of a downturn in production
- Introduce a more gradual rise in pension age for women workers
- Introduce a progressive housing tax with some of the tax receipts diverted to local councils
- Introduce a genuinely progressive reform of the welfare state to include the many who currently fall through the safety net
In addition, parliament “can and should” enact
- a tax on wealth of the richest
- a serious, not token tax on undeclared capital held abroad that was previously subject an amnesty linked to a tiny tax
- A [very modest] tax on capital held in Switzerland in line with the withholding tax and a levy on legacy wealth expected through agreements with other European countries like Britain and Germany that should raise billions for the Treasury
- A competitive tender sale of TV frequencies worth some Euros 1.5bn [ditching current plans to effectively hand them over for a song to the likes of private TV magnate Silvio Berlusconi]
- A reduction in Euros 24 bn spending on 131 F35 fighter aircraft
- Above all, a “serious and constant battle against tax evasion”, which is amongst the highest in the world amounting to around Euros 120 billion annually, according to some conservative estimates