Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dealing with the South

If the Italian government that is to be installed this evening does not start dealing with the South and do at least  these broad-brush things very rapidly,  it is not serious about dealing with Italy's public debt.

 - Gradual but steep reduction of all forms of income subsidies; including fake invalidity pensions.

 - Instant curtailment of salaries of public officials such as members of regional administrations, consultants, and other unproductive labour.

 - Removal of tax exemptions on all Church activities (a national measure which would be particularly effective in the South).

 - Lower wages for the South to reflect relative local labour abundance; and to compensate also for the higher costs of local activities resulting from mafia taxation.

 - Once and for all abolition of prestige and useless projects such as the Messina bridge (not least because of seismic exposure but also because it is an opportunity for mafia funding).

 - No eligibility of investigated as well as convicted individuals for public office, or of firms for public contracts.

 - Campaign to detect and penalize usury.

 - Facilitated access to credit, but without subsidies.

- The removal of all tax exemptions that pertain to the South alone.

  - An enhanced fight against tax evasion with stricter penalties in the South (where tax evasion has contributed greatly to national debt).

 - Increase police funding (at the moment the Force is being starved of funds to the point of officers having to pay for their own petrol).

[There we are Yacht.  (Weekend Yachtsman feared nothing could be done in the South as many Italian governments have accepted).  Once all this is done, other southern distortions of the Italian economy and body politic can be tackled.  ]



Nick Drew said...

an excellent manifesto, we look forward to you sweeping to office!

not sure it's quite filtered through to the official line, though: no mention of the church there and only one rather fleeting reference to corruption ...

hatfield girl said...

Mine's not just more effective - it's a great deal shorter.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

It's a marvellous manifesto, as Nick says.

Forgive me if I am a little doubtful that any European government anywhere - never mind any Italian government - could carry through such a programme.

But despair is a sin, as Dr. Pournelle is always telling us.

Perhaps Mr. Monti can pull off the miracle that has eluded all his predecessors.