Saturday, 09 February 2013 20:46
ROME: Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has revived proposals for a sweeping amnesty on unpaid taxes and building permit violations as he tries to gain ground on the centre-left ahead of elections on Feb. 24-25.
The pledge follows Berlusconi's eye-catching promise to scrap a hated housing tax imposed by the technocrat government of outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti and reimburse last year's payments.
The last opinion polls published before a preelection blackout showed Berlusconi's centre right alliance trailing almost 6 points behind the centreleft in the overall vote.
"If voters give a majority to me and my People of Freedom party alone, I will immediately pass a full tax and building amnesty," he told a talk show on RAI state television late on Friday.
Tax amnesties have been passed regularly by successive Italian governments but have been widely criticised as an encouragement to tax evasion, a chronic problem that has contributed to creating ...