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Italy: The first problems for Meloni – Reactions to the unemployment benefit cut


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The cut in unemployment benefits is the point in Meloni’s draft state budget that has garnered the most opposition.

It is the first substantial sample of her writing Government Meloni: The draft of the 2023 state budget begins its course in parliament, with a relatively quick prospect of approval. However, there is no shortage of reactions and criticisms. Out of the total of 35 billion euros, 21 are intended for the support of households, businesses, and general containment of energy costs. At the same time, the Italian Prime Minister decided to proceed with a limited reduction of taxes for the self-employed and an increase, by approximately 100 euros, of the lowest pensions.

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Reactions to the cut in social unemployment income

The point where caused the biggest reactions is the cut of the main assistance for the unemployed and citizens living on the poverty line. This is the unemployment social income, which reaches up to 700 euros per month. Meloni announced that next year it will only be paid for eight months, after which the number of beneficiaries will be strictly limited. She believes that this measure, which was approved in 2019 with the great insistence of the Five Stars, caused waste and led citizens who could work “to the couch”.

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The center-left and the “five stars”, however, respond that the social income saved thousands of people from poverty – especially during the first, hard period of the coronavirus pandemic – and that with Meloni’s cuts next year the Italian public will only save 700 million euro. The newspaper La Repubblica in today’s report writes that in Sicily, if this aid is abolished, the only alternative for some citizens will be to become mafia drug traffickers.

Giuseppe Conte’s Five Stars are preparing demonstrations and protests, while residents in deprived areas near Naples, such as Scabia, say they are “ready to take to the streets”. It is, as everything shows, the first major obstacle that the new Italian ultra-conservative government will encounter on its way. In total, there are 3,386,000 inhabitants of the country who receive the “social income”, (reddito di cittadinanza) and its gradual abolition could not, in any case, go unnoticed.

DW – Theodoros Andreadis – Syngellakis, Rome

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I have worked as a journalist for over 8 years. I have written for many different news outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and CNN. I have also published my own book on the history of the world. I am currently a freelance writer and editor, and I am always looking for new opportunities to write and edit interesting content.

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