Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Italy Party Proposes 15% Flat-Rate Income Tax to Jump Start the Italian Economy

The Italian economy is in terrible shape.  Overall unemployment is 15% of the labor force; youth unemployment (15-24 years of age) stands at 42%.  University graduates cannot find jobs in their fields of study; many are forced to live at home with their parents in crowded apartments.  Manufacturing has contracted 25% since 2007.  Apartments stand empty.  Public debt exceeds 130% of GDP.  Italy’s confiscatory income tax discourages work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.  It breeds corruption, tax avoidance, tax evasion, and fosters export of both human and financial capital.

A relatively new, youth-oriented political party aims to bring hope and change to Italy’s economy.  On April 6, 2014, in Milan, the New Italy Party (Partito Italia Nuovo, or PIN) held an international conference to present its proposal for a 15% flat tax, which would replace Italy’s current system of steeply-graduated personal income taxes for wage earners and small business owners, and also corporate income taxes.  Before a large audience, Party President Armando Siri explained how Italy’s current income tax system impeded individuals and business enterprises, and how a 15% flat tax would restore Italy’s competitiveness.

I was privileged to attend the conference and endorse PIN’s 15% flat tax.  As co-author of “The Flat Tax,” I regard PIN’s 15% flat tax as an important step towards tax simplification and improving incentives for workers and entrepreneurs to improve their lives and businesses.

I encourage Italians from all walks of life to learn about PIN’s 15% flat tax and use social media to encourage their friends and neighbors to support this tax reform proposal as an important step to restoring Italy as a land of growth and opportunity.