The shock wave of the Superbonus does not stop and continues to overwhelm public finances. Not even the exceptional upward revision of 2021 GDP, published today by Istat, was enough to defuse the bomb that for months has annihilated any room for manoeuvre in the state budget. And that now also wipes out that gain on the deficit that emerged thanks to the highest growth of 2021. A new cold shower, which is nothing new for the government in search of resources, but which gives strength to the criticism of the Minister of Economy Giancarlo Giorgetti against the system of "easy" measures and "subsidies" to the economy that has proved to be "harmful". Istat has revised the data for the three-year period 2020-2022 to take into account the new European statistical criteria and the information acquired after the estimate published last April. In particular, the estimates for the year 2021 incorporate the final data on the economic results of companies and the complete data on employment.
Numbers that have given a boost to growth, causing "a revision of exceptional scope compared to those that occurred in past years", explains Istat. Thanks to the new, more accurate data on the production of companies, the GDP of 2021 has jumped to 8.3%, or 1.3 percentage points more than the estimate released last April. With a positive effect for the deficit that from 9% estimated in April falls to 8.8%, freeing 0.2 points. It would have been around 4 billion euros precious if they had resisted in 2022. And instead "the Superbonus canceled the billions that had been brought by the revision", explained the head of the Directorate for the National Accounts of Istat, Giovanni Savio. Istat reports that it has made a "strong review" of capital expenditures (5.8 billion euros), due precisely to "the expenditure incurred for building bonuses (Superbonus and facade bonus)". Without earnings for 2022, therefore, the audit confirms the numbers released in April. GDP is +3.7%, deficit -8%. A chasm, that of net debt, always caused by the Superbonus: Eurostat in February asked the government to record as expenditure the credits of 110% in the year in which the right to the sale arises, so those accrued in 2022 could not be spread over several years. For 2023 things could change and the spending of the Superbonus could be diluted over time: Eurostat, in days, will decide again to take into account the tightening of the government that has almost completely closed the assignments of credits, forcing those who have accrued the right to deduct it over 10 years. The new data does not add clarity to the Update Note to the Def, expected next Thursday. The only certainty is that the margins on which the government is working for 2024 are very narrow. The deficit indicated in the Def for next year (3.5% the trend and 3.7% the programmatic) could be adjusted upwards, but 4% would represent a real insurmountable red line.
GDP will not help much to create new spaces. If growth should hold up this year, confirming around the 1% forecast in the Def, in 2024 it will be complicated to stick to plans (+1.5%) given the slowdown that is intensifying throughout the euro area. The deficit resources on which the government would be reasoning (increasing it to a maximum of 0.2 or 0.3 points, or 4-6 billion euros) will therefore not even be sufficient to confirm the cut of the tax wedge that is worth 10 billion. New revenues will therefore be needed to find spaces and cover a maneuver that for now - according to rumors - could be around 20-25 billion euros. A part will come from the tax on the extra profits of the banks (between 2 and 3 billion, if it is not sunk in the changes). But a new tax on gaming is also not excluded.
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