Italian government approves 2014 budget aimed at meeting EU deficit targets

MILAN – The Italian government has approved a 2014 budget with spending and tax cuts aimed at returning Italy’s economy to growth and bringing it under the EU budget deficit ceiling.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta told reporters Tuesday that the budget includes “a significant reduction in taxes for families, workers and businesses.” He says Italy’s budget deficit would reach 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2014, below the EU ceiling of 3 per cent, with reductions in its stubbornly high public debt each of the next three years.

The budget includes 14.6 billion euros ($19.7 billion) in tax cuts from 2014-2016, including 5 billion euros for workers and 5.6 billion euros for businesses.

Italy faced a Tuesday deadline to submit the budget to the European Commission.