Italy Allocates $9.3 Billion to Override High Energy Costs

Italy Allocates $9.3 Billion to Override High Energy Costs

/ Financial News / Friday, 11 November 2022 08:13

As a support measure against rising energy bills, the Italian government has announced funds worth 9.1 billion euros ($9.3 billion) to help households and businesses.

This contribution by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's government adds to the 66 billion euros that the former premier Mario Draghi’s administration spent in 2022 on helping budget-strapped families and businesses with energy bills.

The latest amount is the result of "extraordinary tax receipts" during a third quarter where the Italian economy performed better than expected, the economy ministry said in a statement following a cabinet meeting.

A statutory order adopted by the government provides tax credits for businesses, bars, restaurants and shops to purchase gas and electricity and will maintain lower excise duties on fuel until the end of the year. Electricity prices in Italy fell to €120 per megawatt hour in early November, hovering at levels not seen since August 2021 as success in diversifying energy sources and reduced consumption due to mild weather erased concerns of a shortage ahead of the winter.

Meloni's government has also decided to grant new concessions for offshore gas extraction and to increase the production of concessions that are already operational with the aim of increasing production, the statement said.

The 2023 budget will guarantee 21 billion euros to finance measures guiding households and businesses to deal with rising energy costs, Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said.

The additional resources will be financed by borrowing, with the economy ministry raising Italy's public debt forecast for 2023 to 4.5% of annual economic output from the 3.4% predicted by Draghi's government in September.

Italian business leaders have demanded support measures of up to 50 billion euros to avoid widespread job losses and bankruptcies.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started, Rome has also struck new natural gas import deals with Algeria and Angola, minimizing their scarcity from the gas supply cuts from Russia. Previous shortage concerns lifted Italian electricity prices to a record high of €650 at the end of August.

Also read: How Many More Billions Will Europe Have to Throw In to Combat Energy Crisis?

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