Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Caste: How Italian Politicians Have Become Untouchable


This article on the BBC website is yet more evidence that the Italian government is having a laugh at it's own public's expense and of the other European countries who continue to pour their own taxpayers money into a purse to support their corruption. It tells us of a book now published (only in Italian at time of writing) with insight into the corruption, inefficiency and greed that the authors argue permeates every level of Italian government. It isn't as though it doesn't happen in all governments, however the Italians are better at it and proud of it too.

There probably isn't anything in the book that most of the italian public don't already know, most of it is common knowledge but still it goes on.

If you can get a copy, buy it, and give it to your MEP... no, tell them to buy it themselves on their hideously obscene expense accounts.

La Casta: Così i Politici Italiani Sono Diventati Intoccabili
By Sergio Rizzo and Gian Antonio Stella
284 pages, Rome: Saggi Italiani, 2007 (in Italian)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

2040 will see more people in Italy over age 60 than in working population.

Yet again a New Year surprise for the self-employed in Italy. The latest 'pensions barometer' survey by Aon is published showing Italy to be bottom of 25 (of 27) European countries for 2007.

Some relief was felt by many when Berlusconi left power in 2006, me included, but Prodi has done little in any of the reforms he promised. Since he gained power I have seen my pension contributions rise from 19.5% of income to 23.5% in 2007 and 27% in 2008, and yet according to this new report the country dropped 7 places to the bottom.

Of every €100, €27 goes towards pension contributions, €27% in income tax, €4.25 in regional tax, leaving €41.75.

At present if one was to earn €30,000 per year for 20 years, contributing €8,100 per year, on retirement the state would provide €1200 per month (in todays money). So maybe the state is hoping on greater birth and death rates, should one die before the 10th year of receiving a pension then they have more money to feed the huge politicians pensions whom are eligible after only 8 years of work.

Just over the border in Switzerland one pays 23% income tax (whatever your earnings) and 2% towards your pension. Maybe it's time to learn German.