Home » Shock absorbers, extended protections but the crux of costs remains

Shock absorbers, extended protections but the crux of costs remains

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The hour of truth has come for the reform of the social safety nets. The Minister of Labor, Andrea Orlando, in the meeting on Monday 9 August aims to collect the support of the social partners on the guidelines of the reform inspired by the principle of differentiated universalism to ensure the protection of all workers, including those of micro and small enterprises (from 1 to 15 employees), with different methods depending on the sectoral characteristics and company size. So with different durations.

The cost puzzle

However, the issue of costs remains to be resolved, since in the six-page document that Orlando sent to trade unions and employers’ associations, nothing is said about the contributions and rates that will be used to finance the new system. At the end of the last page, only a forecast of “accompanying general taxation from 2022 to 2024” is indicated for costs.


The problem is that the previous draft drawn up by Minister Orlando was sent back by the Ministry of Economy, State Accounting and Palazzo Chigi precisely because it cost too much.

Up to 8 billion interventions

In particular, the project ran aground precisely on the extension to micro enterprises of the coverage of social safety nets. The estimates of the technicians spoke of costs of 6-7 billion, which rose to 8 billion also considering the interventions on unemployment benefits, against cover currently insured for only 1.5 billion from the suspension of the cashback.

The game to identify the resources moves, therefore, to the budget law. However, Minister Orlando is convinced that, if he were to collect the “sharing” of the social partners tomorrow, he would have a better chance of finding the necessary coverage for the reform in the economic maneuver. It remains to be seen whether the parties will want to express this support for the minister’s project, especially the representatives of micro-enterprises and those sectors of the service sector which up to now have been able to count on the coverage insured by general taxation with the fund in derogation (which the minister intends to repeal) and that with the reform the shock absorbers will be gradually called to self-finance.

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