What is Italy doing to fight rising cost of everyday goods?
COST OF LIVING
The level of inflation in Italy reached 8 percent in June. What products are getting more expensive in the country and what measures are being taken by the Italian government to keep prices down?
Published: 4 July 2022 11:51 CEST
Updated: 26 July 2022 07:50 CEST
Italians are seeing higher prices in supermarkets. Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP
Italy’s national statistics institute Istat has estimated inflation for June 2022 will hit 8 percent, up from 6.8 percent in May. The country hasn’t seen such a spike in prices since January 1986.
“All of us in the government have the task of killing the inflation monster”, Minister for Public Administration Renato Brunetta said in an interview with Quotidiano Nazionale on Sunday.
He said the government is pushing for a price cap on gas and oil prices and calls for a “European agreement now” to regulate limits.
Any measures to create a ceiling for prices would need to follow European regulations, and EU countries must agree on them.
READ ALSO: Who can claim Italy’s €200 cost of living bonus?
A major issue with rising prices is that wages lose their value, Brunetta explained. As a result, Italians can now buy fewer things with the same salary as one year ago.
Worker’s unions are looking to adjust collective agreements for wage readjustments, while companies fear that simply increasing salaries could prolong the crisis, Brunetta said.
What is the government doing to combat inflation?
The minister said then that the government is proposing a reduction in taxes incurred in workers’ wages to increase purchasing power without overburdening employers.
He added authorities are also looking into “targeted and selective interventions”, including extending social benefits to low-income people.
Among the measures and proposals, he mentioned the targeted €200 bonus for Italian households to help with utility bills.
The payments were announced in May alongside other government measures to offset the soaring cost of living, such as extending energy bill discounts and rolling on the deadline to claim Italy’s popular ‘super bonus 110’.
Pension amounts will also be reevaluated and adjusted for inflation more often and at higher rates, the minister said – the same with severance payments. He didn’t give further details, though.
Where can the increases be seen more dramatically?
Italy’s statistics institute says that “several types of products” have had price increases in the country, according to a press release. The main increase (48.7 percent year on year) can be seen in “energy goods”, such as fuel and gas.
READ ALSO: Italian property prices continue to rise in 2022
Food in Italy is also getting more expensive, both unprocessed food (9.6 percent increase) such as fruits and vegetables, and processed food (up by 8.2 percent).
Recreational, cultural, and personal care services are also more expensive, up 5 percent compared to June 2021.
The institute says that the highest increases can be seen in housing, water, electricity and fuel supply. Or essential goods and living conditions for Italian households.
As fuel prices soar worldwide, Italy is also experiencing an increase in transport costs.