ROME – Italy will allocate almost 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion) in additional funds to help households overcome rising energy prices next year, Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini said on Thursday.
With international energy prices soaring, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government has already spent more than 4 billion euros this year to try to rein in utility bills by compensating companies that agree to cap their tariffs.
Draghi set aside a further 2 billion euros for next year in the 2022 budget approved by ministers in October, but with energy cost pressures continuing to drive consumer price inflation, the cabinet decided on Thursday to almost double that sum.
The government had made “an unprecedented effort” that “will allow families to face the coming months with greater serenity,” Gelmini said after the cabinet meeting, adding that the total outlay for 2022 will be 3.8 billion euros.
Reuters reported last week that the government was considering doubling the funds it had previously set aside for next year.
($1 = 0.8858 euros)