House under renovation. The Italian superbonus is criticised by current Premier for cost.

Superbonus cost equivalent of annual healthcare budget says Meloni

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Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reiterated her criticism of the previous government’s contentious ‘Superbonus’ subsidy for eco-friendly home improvements, asserting it drained the state’s funds equivalent to the annual spending on healthcare.

Concluding the annual Atreju political festival organised by her right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party in Rome, Meloni said her government had crafted “a generous budget law despite the dire state of the public accounts inherited (from previous governments),” primarily due to the impact of the ‘Superbonus.’

The commitment to provide free home renovations, Meloni claimed, resulted in “a gap of €140billion, equivalent to the public expenditure on all healthcare services in a year.” She expressed concern that health professionals seeking funds for healthcare were sidelined, with the money instead used to renovate less than 4%t of Italy’s real estate. These were predominantly second homes, luxurious residences, and even six castles, leaving each Italian with a debt of €2,000.

Reports of widespread fraud using Superbonus

Responding to the fiscal repercussions and allegations of widespread fraud associated with the 110% Superbonus introduced in 2020 by Giuseppe Conte’s government, Meloni’s administration swiftly took measures to control the subsidy. Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti also criticised the fiscal impact of the bonus, explaining its constraints on the government’s budgetary flexibility.

Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, however, presented a different perspective during his speech at Atreju, stating that Forza Italia, his center-right party, is working on “a brief extension for the superbonus for condominiums that have already completed 70% of renovation work.” While he advocated “zero tolerance for cheaters,” Tajani recognised the need for “special consideration” for honest individuals, allowing them to finish work in the final stages.

Meloni, in her closing speech at Atreju, stood firm on her decision to phase out the controversial citizenship wage (RdC) minimum-income benefit. She dismissed concerns from those who may resent her stance, stating, “If those who took the citizenship income to work illegally detest me, it matters little. I don’t intend to buy people’s consent. That is a privilege I leave to other political forces,” the premier added.

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