The Chamber’s ruling that has rejected the pension adjustments has been published in the official journal, so technically it is effective. A gap in the budget that will cost Italy more than 16.6 billion Euros, as explained by a study of Cgia di Mestre on the total amount that Inps (National Social Security and Pension Association) is likely to have to pay out to 5 million Italians who were subjected to non-inflation indexing which had been placed by Mont’s government under the “Save italy” measures.
A fact that, before being legal, is political and social at the same time. The suspensions enacted by Minister Fornero in 2012-2013, affected retirees who received a net monthly cheque exceeding EUR 1,088. The scene is still vivd in the memory when during a press conference, the Minister was unable to utter the word “sacrifice”; each letter got stuck in her throat and after the first two, she burst into tears. Former head of government, Professor Monti quickly moved in and thought of saving her from her embarassment and with his frosty smile said: “and … interpreting the sacrifice so effectively communicated by Minister Fornero concerns the suspension of the indexation on the pensions”.
Now, after many years, the ruling of the Chamber, more than rejecting a law it is now demolishing a principle: the principle that “technicians” are better than”politicians”. Of course, the latter have earned the low esteem of much of the country, but politics in a broad sense, that of great choices, cannot be so easily replaced. The decision of the Constitutional Court is certainly a slap in the face to the mythologising of civil society applied to state management.
Many professors have managed to fail on everything: on the one hand the social fabric which has remained baffled by the decisions that have been taken, legally, given the rejection without appeal, and financially, since a delicate phase relating to refunds is now going to have to be tackled.
The event already has sparked a new uproar between the government and the rest of the House. According to Renzi, the refund could just be limited to the lower bands. If, for example, it was decided to secure refunds on monthly gross incomes between EUR 1,500 and 2,500 E0uros, those that would be concerned would be 4.3 million (about 6 million) who had been involved by the ‘equalising’ measure).
“No decision”, is the leitmotif that bounces from one building to another in the government, which is seeking a solution that is compliant to the Court’s decision-in order to avoid running into new stops in the future-and the keeping of public finance, under the EU lens, put to a severe test which has been established net at around 9-10 billion.
The only certainty at the moment, is that the ruling is “self-applicative”, as lawyers and reliable sources close to the Chamber itself. Which means that there will be no need to reappeal to obtain th refund on the non-inflation-adjustments.
At the base of it all, there is a legal issue to be solved: on the sums to be paid out to pensioners and whether or not they are not entirely equivalent to a salary (the judgment speaks of”deferred compensation”) and as such intangibles. And they need to understand,whether to return these sum sto a part of the pensioners, through the issuing of a provision by the Chmaber, in order not to run into any risks of appeals and rulings that may be inconstitutional.
Besides,not dispensing with the regression on the higher pensions, some observe, would not solve the problem of budgetary impact, given that the majority of retirees who have not had the Inps adjustment in recent years lies in between 3 and 5 times the minimum. One scenario under debate, however to act on income brackets along the lines of the law Letta currently in force. But there are also those who favored the previous solution to Save Italy, acting on headbands, which was more progressive but also more costly. On the track, an intervention could be made a decree to postpone the entry into force, and hence the effects of the Court’s ruling, and thus have more time to develop a mechanism that could foil the risk of new lawsuits.
Further complicating an already chaotic scenario, according to press-reports, a rejection on the part of Brussels on the extension of the VAT reverse charge to large retailers. This is worth 700 million Euros and would provide in the case of an Eu stop, a safeguard clause equivalent to an excise. “The decision of the Chamberl relating to pensions is quite clear but the government is acting deaf. It is not clear why and what capacity – attacks the Lega Nord-but maybe they do not even know themselves, Renzi and the economy Minister have decided, quite arbitrarily, that it was impossible to refund to all the parties concerned wit the indexation of pensions and the minimum threshold fixed would be those under 5,000 euros. If the ‘treasure coffer’ really exists-as praised by the premier, then it could be used for this purpose.