May 30, 2020

The Italian Government insists on taxing the plastic despite the weight of the sector

The Italian Government insists on its intention to tax the disposable plastic in the General Budgets of 2020, despite the importance of that sector and the impact that it would have especially in the Emilia Romagna region (north), three months after Your choices

"There are politicians who look to the next elections and statesmen focused on future generations," Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S), which governs with center and left parties, defended from Shanghai today.

In his opinion, the controversial plastic tax is "a rate that will help Italy convert its own production and pollute less," so it refused to eliminate that tax.

For his part, the Minister of Economy, Roberto Gualtieri, described the measure as "fair" but, at the same time, opened the door to "modulate it" through a dialogue with the plastic producers.

"We must reduce the use of single-use plastic, we can not applaud the young people who manifest themselves by the weather and then not act. A measure that disincentives it is fair. Already later it will have to be re-modulated and I am prepared to discuss it with the sector ", he explained last night to the public television newsletter RAI.

The Government, formed by the M5S, the Democratic Party (PD), Free and Equal (LeU) and the centrist Italia Viva (IV), plans to introduce a tax since July 2020 with which producers must pay one euro for each kilogram of monouso plastic that they manufacture.

The tribute, in line with European regulations that will prohibit single-use plastic since 2021, taxes the production of bags, trays, bottles, caps or cartons of milk, while trying to encourage factory use of biodegradable materials.

The measure will especially affect the Emilia Romagna region (center), in whose capital, Bologna, a plastic sector has flourished in recent years with 228 companies employing some 17,000 people.

Specifically, the companies that manufacture packages and packaging represent 36% of the total region and invoice around 4,400 million euros each year.

In addition, the sector of the construction of packaging machines is booming in Italy, with a turnover of 7,850 million euros in 2018, 9.4% more than the previous year, exporting them as a world leader with Germany, according to data of the employers Confindustria.

The Federconsumatori consumer association estimates that, if approved, this tax would mean an annual cost of 138.77 euros to each Italian family, so it calls for "coherent" policies that allow for a "conversion towards a sustainable economy".

And also from the unions they see with concern the measure. Cgil's Environment Manager, Michele De Palma, believes that the productive transition goes through an entire industrial plan, not the introduction of new taxes, he told "Il Corriere" today.

But the rate has also generated controversy for its political implications: it reaches three months of an election in which the leader of the ultra-right-wing League, Matteo Salvini, wants to conquer for the first time this region, a traditional bastion of the Italian left.

The current president of Emilia Romagna, Stefano Bonaccini, of the PD, believes it is fair to limit the single-use plastic but with policies that encourage this change, "not introducing new taxes," he said today in an interview with "Il Corriere della Sera."

On the other hand, the tax has provoked a debate in the government coalition between those who criticize the measure, such as the leader of Italy Viva, Matteo Renzi, contrary to creating new assessments, and those who celebrate the opening to dialogue with the sector, such as the minister of Economy.

. (tagsToTranslate) Government (t) Italian (t) insists (t) tax (t) plastic

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