June 7, 2018 / 10:27 AM / 18 days ago

Italy's 5-Star leader says government will not raise sales tax

ROME (Reuters) - The newly installed Italian government will not raise sales taxes, Italy’s deputy prime minister and head of the 5-Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, said on Thursday.

Italian Minister of Labor and Industry Luigi Di Maio speaks at the Italian Business Association Confcommercio meeting in Rome, Italy, June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Italy must find an estimated 12.5 billion euros (£10.9 billion) of savings to stave off the threat of an automatic increase in sales taxes because of previously missed deficit targets.

Speaking to a conference organised by the Italian retailers’ lobby, Di Maio said the coalition would find a way of avoiding this hike and also pledged to be careful with public accounts.

Slideshow (3 Images)

“Sales taxes will not increase and the safeguard trigger will be defused,” Di Maio said.

“We are committed to keeping our accounts under control, (but) we also know that ... we have to renegotiate some conditions at the EU level which Italy can no longer sustain. We will do this by discussing with the other countries but also sometimes by saying ‘no’”.

($1 = 0.8463 euros)

Reporting by Gavin Jones, writing by Crispian Balmer

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