For a Welfare-Oriented Taxation Reform in Italy
The Italian system of economic support for those on low incomes and for families is among the least effective in Europe. Its incoherent nature is shown by very large jumps in implicit marginal tax rates (taxation + family benefits). Italy needs a comprehensive reform of the treatment of income for tax and social welfare purposes. This paper proposes a new system of benefits and taxation for Italy based on a discussion of the theoretical properties of different schemes for integrating taxation and family benefits. The proposal combines tax allowance for work, designed to provide incentives to work, a flat rate family benefit and changes in the structure of tax rates which would incorporate the progressivity that is implicit in the current system of family benefits. The proposed system exhibits some of the characteristics of social dividend and negative income tax schemes. A micro-simulation exercise shows that the scheme would produce redistributive effects in favour of middle and low incomes and would lead to significant improvements in poverty and inequality indicators.
Volume (Year): 64 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (November)
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