Italy’s lower house of parliament has approved a tax amnesty on undeclared overseas funds after the government called for a vote of confidence on the bill.
Although the measure was approved by 309 votes to 247 it has caused outrage among Italy’s opposition. They claim it amounts to an incentive for tax avoidance and is rewarding organised crime. Centrist party leader, Pier Fernando Casini told the Senate: “It’s a decree legitimising a situation which is in principle illegal. It’s shameful of anyone to propose it and in turn makes honest citizens feel ashamed. They don’t deserve this country.” The amnesty allows Italians to wipe the slate clean on undeclared funds held in tax havens by paying a five percent penalty. Controversy flared after it was extended to include money hidden via accounting fraud. While the government hopes to re-coup up to 300bn euros from tax havens, critics claim the amnesty could facilitate money laundering.