Business, Finance & Economics

Italian PM to give up salary, as cabinet agrees 30bn euro austerity plan


Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti speaks at the press conference after the meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on November 24, 2011 in Strasbourg, France.


Thomas Niedermueller

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti is to present a 30 billion euro package of emergency budget cuts and tax increases to parliament on Monday – and plans to sacrifice his salary as a gesture of solidarity, CNN reported.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Monti said the measures, the equivalent of 41 billion dollars, were designed to "save Italy" and rescue the country from the brink of bankruptcy.

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Monti is reportedly giving up his salary as both Prime Minister and Finance Minister.

After a three-hour meeting, the Italian cabinet approved a rise in the minimum age for pensions to 62 for women next year, and to 66 for both men and women by 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Italy's Welfare Minister, Elsa Fornero, broke down in tears as she outlined the pension changes, which she said would be integrated with future labor reforms.

Fornero said Italy's minimum pension of 500 euros a month would not be cut.

Italy's austerity package also increases taxes on housing and luxury items – and there will be a major drive to tackle tax evasion.

Value-added tax will reportedly rise by two percentage points to 23 percent from next year.