Like a tax on air

Investing on work, not on subsidies

Like a tax on air

Published on Cittá on 23/01/2010

The first article of the constitution reads that "Italy is a Democratic Republic, founded on work". While elaborating the text, the constitutional fathers could have founded it on solidarity, fraternity, liberty or equality. But evidently their cultures encountered a significant unifying moment that remains as a precious inheritance, thinking of how much they gave their life for those results, on the value of "work".

"I don´t want subsidies. I want work". Words that we hear on the lips of fathers, young diplomats and graduates, the self-employeed and entrepreneurs. Before receiving income, then, one of human nature´s fundamental needs is to be in the position to provide for oneself and others through work.

Right now, despite the context of a serious employment crisis, little is being done to make sure that the humanity of each person is able to flower through a job. One example is the IRAP (Regional Tax on Productive Activity), a tax launched in the first Prodi administration to replace around ten others, still unchanged today, that are not calculated on business profit but rather on various categories, including work expenses. The more people that work for you, the higher your taxes, and you´re pushed to outsource your production. It´s like taxing the air that you breathe.

Today, taxes cannot be reduced. Fiscal income is already reduced by the crisis. What is forgotten, however, is that one of politics´ first instruments is to control the adequacy of a tax (like that on work) and deciding if it should be reduced, raising others to balance accounts.

These types of decisions are only made by statesmen, those who have the courage to lose the consensus of who will be penalized, without gaining those who will receive the benefit, as they would consider it their proper due.

However, what cannot be forgotten in this period when thousands are newly unemployed (some by now in dramatic conditions), is that who invests on work in Italy today sees that only half of what is spent reaches the worker. Plus, he´s taxed on this investment, while he who invests on finance is taxed on only 12.5 percent of relative profits.

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