Italy approves first ever anti-poverty package

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​Rome, March 11 (IANS) The Italian parliament on Thursday passed the first ever anti-poverty provision aimed at ensuring a stable economic support to poor families in the country, local media reported on Friday.

So far, the government has allocated 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) to the measure in 2017. Yet, the annual budget would rise to two billion euros in both 2017 and 2018, once an expected contribution from the European Union (EU) was added to the domestic resources, Xinhua quoted Italian Labor Minister Giuliano Poletti as saying.

An income worth between 400 euros and 480 euros per month will be provided to deprived families, according to their own earnings and starting with couples with young children and unemployed people over 55 first.

"The measure represents an essential pillar of the national plan against poverty, and it fills a long-standing gap in the Italian welfare system in terms of protection of low-income individuals," Poletti added.

Italy was the only EU country, together with Greece, to lack a structural provision against poverty, the minister stressed.

The supportive income would be provided only under certain conditions, such as the regular attendance of the children at school, and the commitment of the unemployed to seek a job.

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