The right-wing Italian government is ending benefits for thousands of families and individuals deemed ‘fit to work’. The Citizens Income allowance will only be for families meeting limited criteria.
An estimated 169,000 families across Italy received an SMS in late July notifying them the Citizens Income benefits would be cut off in August.
The controversial benefit was introduced four years ago – 2019 – by the government of Giuseppe Conte.
The “reddito di cittadinanza” (literally “citizens’ income”) is a monthly allowance for those with low income and the unemployed. The benefits will be removed from any families which do not include a disabled person, a minor, or an individual over the age of 65.
Meloni announced her decision to tighten the social welfare system as soon as she came into power last year. She declared it will be completely abolished by 1 January 2024 for the unemployed between the age of 18 and 59 deemed fit to work.
“We want to transform assistance into employment,” she said in November 2022. “There are people who have been taking the subsidy for three years. Te state must help these people to find a job.”
Former prime minister Conte, criticised Meloni’s decision saying she was “playing with people’s lives,”. He added it would be particularly difficult for those in their 50s to retrain and find new jobs.