Italy's coronavirus economic plan

The Italian government has announced up to 25 billion in funding and that first mortgage loan payments have been suspended

Italy's Prime Minister has laid out his coronavirus economic plan / Gtres
Italy's Prime Minister has laid out his coronavirus economic plan / Gtres
19 March 2020, Redaction

The government's business plan to deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus is taking shape. First and foremost, the budget for the emergency situation has been increased to 25 billion euros. In the meantime, a first economic decree of 12 billion euros was approved last week, which also includes measures to suspend first home loans.

At a press conference, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that these resources will not be used together, but will be used to deal with the entire coronavirus emergency, also to support interventions to be defined in the future. An appropriation of 25 billion euros, approved by parliament after also obtaining the green light from the European Central Bank, is a real additional manoeuvre to help Italy through this crisis. As for the level of the deficit, Conte stated at the press conference that this is something that, "will be defined at a later date", because "it is possible that some interventions will benefit from common European resources and therefore lighten the impact on the State budget, which is still able to support this effort".

Coronavirus economic decree

As for the economic decree against the coronavirus, that was approved last week in Parliament, the package of measures worth 12 billion euros to support businesses and familie includes the following initiatives.

Suspension of first home loans: one of the most important sections of the decree concerns the suspension of first home loans. These measures include the suspension of first home mortgage payments for a maximum period of 18 months, but only in the event of job loss or significant reduction in working hours. A simplification of the Gasparrini law is also being considered for the suspension of mortgages for people who receive redundancy or unemployment benefits in Italy.

Inland Revenue: with regard to tax, the goverment as proposed a suspension of payments of withholding tax and social security contributions, also including the suspension of the amnesty installments, and the suspension and postponement of the tax calendar throughout the country.

Businesses: in order to help companies in the sectors most affected by the crisis, especially those related to transport, logistics, culture and air traffic, the government has announced strengthening of the Central Guarantee Fund for small businesses. Strengthening of "Confidi", the support fund for companies in the territory, is also on the way.

Social and autonomous shock absorbers: the extension and strengthening of the Cassa Integrazione (redundancy fund) for sectors normally excluded is also on its way. In addition, it could also be extended to mini-enterprises of 1-5 employees, as well as reinforcement of the wage supplementation fund for those from 5 to 15 employees. There has also been an official suspension of tax for the self-employed.

Support for families: as far as families are concerned, support will be seen in different ways: on the one hand, parental leave of 15 days will be offered and divided between father and mother, as well as a voucher of 600 euros for a babysitter. The voucher can go up to 1000 euros in the case that the parents work in health related jobs or as researchers.

Healthcare: in addition to hiring 5,000 new doctors, including unemployed, interns and pensioners, there are also plans to bring in 15,000 nurses and health workers.

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