Berlusconi promises swathe of tax cuts if he wins Italian poll

Ben Southwood
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ITALIAN former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday staked out the battle lines in the upcoming election, promising sweeping tax cuts if he is elected.

He said that a centre-right government would reimburse a tax on families’ primary residences, freeze VAT, eliminate a regional business tax, and refrain from imposing a wealth tax.

Part of the cost of these giveaways would come from cutting the cost of government, halving the size of parliament and cutting public finance to political parties, he said. Another chunk would be financed through a tax deal with Switzerland, the media baron and AC Milan-owner pledged.

This comes as a review of research, released yesterday, suggested Berlusconi’s grip on the Italian media boosted his vote share by 5.5 to 7.5 percentage points.