“We will change it because it is holding back the economy”

“The citizenship income distorts the labor market and slows down the economic recovery, we must change the measure already with the next budget law”. Massimo Garavaglia asks for a change after the rain of protests from tourism operators, forced to deal with the absence of seasonal workers. About a quarter of the workforce required during the summer months is missing, between 150,000 and 200,000 workers. “The problem – continues the Minister of Tourism – is that now there are people who prefer to live with subsidies rather than accept the available jobs that anyone can get”.

Minister, according to operators in the sector, it is the citizenship income that pushes many earners not to accept job offers from hoteliers and restaurateurs.
“They are absolutely right. You see, I’m touring Italy far and wide. I speak to dozens of entrepreneurs a day. And everyone, I mean everyone, complains about the distortion created on the labor market by the citizenship income. A particularly damaging distortion, today and in the future. Basically, citizenship income, but I also include Naspi, are a real competition to income from work, as Federturismo also underlines ».

From an anti-poverty support, has the Cinquestelle subsidy turned into a disincentive to work?
«Well, to understand this, just leaf through a few books on the history of the economy or read one of the many encyclicals of the Church on social doctrine and the principle of subsidiarity. It is no coincidence that this principle, sketched out in Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, was deepened 40 years later by Pius XI, that is, in 1929, the year of the great American crisis. The impact of that crisis on the global economy was not very different from that produced by the pandemic. In the two encyclicals, and in the subsequent ones that will arrive in the following years, the principle of subsidiarity is gradually perfected. And this establishes that the presence of the state must be limited in time, otherwise it distorts the economy. Exactly what happens ».

According to data released by Anpal, the earners that can be activated are 1.1 million. But 75% are not looking for work. How does it come out?
“When an iron breaks, you try to fix it first. And if you don’t succeed, you change it. Here, I think the time has come to change the subsidy mechanism. They had to be an instrument to protect workers who had lost their jobs, they had to be a lever of active labor policy. Now they are the exact opposite: a disincentive to work and unfair competition ».

With what consequences?
«Those who receive citizenship income too often prefer to give up on offers, or carry out some illegal activities, rather than going to work. It is also difficult and burdensome for municipalities to make use of subsidies for various services. This is what I mean when I talk about competition. The consequences are devastating. Not only for the economic impact, albeit considerable, but for the attitude that risks being triggered in large sections of the population: it is better to live with subsidies than to accept the jobs that can be obtained. Work is dignity and freedom, the subsidy is the tip of the powerful on duty ».

An amendment to the Sostegni bis decree, later discarded because it was deemed inadmissible, provided for subsidiaries the obligation to accept seasonal jobs, under penalty of loss of card. Will you come back to propose an intervention of this type?
«Citizenship income needs to be changed. I believe that, as a Lega, we will implement initiatives in this sense already with the next budget law ».

Many in the majority ask to improve the size of the grillini, but the M5S continues to defend support with a sword. There is therefore a political problem.
“It seems clear to me that it is. This is why we will face it, in an organic way, with the Budget Law, the most important law of a government. The executive’s figure is pragmatism. It would be good for all my colleagues to remember this, putting aside bogus or past ideologies, or political calculations of hypothetical future alliances ».

In your opinion, the Democratic Party, which manages the Ministry of Labor, is turning its head the other way on the reform of citizenship income because it is an M5S project and does not want to collide with a possible and future ally?
“He made a particularly effective synthesis.”

Other problem. Today people continue to receive the subsidy who on paper would not be entitled to it: among these there are those who do not possess the requisite economic requirements and even those who have precedents for serious criminal offenses. In your opinion, does the inspection machine require a coupon?
“In the light of experience it seems obvious to me.”

The aid has already cost this year more than 4 billion which at this rate will become 9 by the end of the year, 2 more than in 2020. Can the country, in such a delicate phase, afford such an outlay?
“No. And for a thousand different reasons. Out of respect for those who go to work every day. And out of respect for those who, today, must give up on hooking up the economic recovery. In this majority, the League is setting aside some of its banners to honor a commitment made in front of the country. With the obstinate and ideological defense of citizenship income, others are not doing their part ».

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