WORLD

Italy’s Parliament Reduced ‘To Save €1BN In A Decade’

After almost 30 years of broken promises, the cut in MPs and senators is a reality. A new political season is starting, now the citizens are at the centre. This
09 Oct 2019 09:18
Italy’s Parliament Reduced ‘To Save €1BN In A Decade’
Italian Foreign Minister and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio celebrated the cutting of seats outside parliament in Rome. Source: BBC News UK

After almost 30 years of broken promises, the cut in MPs and senators is a reality. A new political season is starting, now the citizens are at the centre.

This was the statement made by the Italian Cabinet Secretary Riccardo Fraccaro.

The parliament in Italy has voted to cut the number of representatives in both houses by more than a third.

A law to reduce the number of MPs from 630 to 400 and senators from 315 to 200 was approved by the lower house.

The reform was a manifesto promise of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), the main party in Italy’s governing coalition.

They say it will streamline parliament and save hundreds of millions of euros in salaries and expenses.

Critics say the move will weaken democracy and increase the influence of lobbyists.

The new law is potentially subject to a confirmatory referendum as it makes changes to the Italian constitution.

“It’s the day we’ve been waiting forever,” Cabinet Secretary Riccardo Fraccaro said, according to Ansa. BBC World News reports

“The bill which was supported by almost all parties  would save the country €1bn (£897m) over 10 years,” said Five Star via Twitter.

 

The tweet once translated to English read:

“From the next legislature, Italy will have 345 less parliamentarians.
An extraordinary result that seemed impossible to achieve. We will save about 500 million per legislature and align ourselves with the standards of the other great European democracies.”

 

A governing coalition between Five Star and the far-right League party broke down in August.

Last month Five Star entered into a new coalition with the centre-left PD and made the new law a condition of its alliance.

Five Star was founded by comedian Beppe Grillo and digital marketing specialist Gianroberto Casaleggio.

The anti-establishment M5S initially refused any alliances until the March 2018 elections.

The elections saw the M5S become the biggest party in Italian politics with 32 percent of the vote.

The government’s other main objective is to pass a budget to block a rise in VAT (sales tax), which is set to kick in on 1 January if the government fails to reach its debt-reduction target.

The new law should come into effect after the next elections which are due in 2023.

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