The 2023 finance law and other government measures, such as those aimed at criminalizing musical gatherings of young people or the activities of migrant aid on the part of NGOs, clearly show the orientation adopted by the right-wing government in Italy. .
The budget law is not only a capitalist law, like those of previous governments, it is a brutal law that expresses the hatred and contempt of the parafascist right towards the lower classes. It designates the most fragile layers of society as culprits, tries to provoke a war between the poor in order to create a mass of proletarians without resources, without protections and without organization, forced to sell their labor power under any conditions. of exploitation, not only in favor of big business, but also of the petty and middle bourgeoisie; threatened by capitalist competition, these resentful and frightened strata constitute precisely the electoral base of the right. The law also aims to restore a “reactionary order” and a nationalist, obscurantist, anti-migrant and racist ideology, according to which everyone must remain in their place, in the class position that birth and destiny have assigned to them.
On the economic level, this law is in perfect continuity with the policies of the Draghi government ensuring the centrality of the interests of the big bourgeoisie, the valorization of capital and the agreement with the neoliberal options of the European Union. Disagreements with Brussels have indeed been limited: these do not concern the operative part of the law as a whole but only and partially the use of cash and online payments, an identity measure that Giorgia Meloni finally abandoned.
The budget law is mainly financed by debt: 21 billion out of a total of 35 billion is an additional debt (which someone will have to repay sooner or later) and 21 billion is intended to fight against the increase in the price of bills of energy. No one has thought of proposing a higher progressive tax on large incomes or a tax on wealth and heritage.
On the contrary, the most important part of the financing of the law (3.7 billion euros), the government obtains it by removing the benefits of compensation of the pensions which should have been paid to defend the pensioners against the galloping increase of the cost of living. Another billion was recovered by drawing on the so-called citizenship income intended for the poorest layers of society; which demonstrates that the law has a character of class oppression which strikes against the weakest sectors of society; this modest aid of last resort has in fact made it possible to prevent millions of people from starving. They cut it in order to further exploit the workforce.
At the same time, a dozen substantial tax reductions are introduced for companies and the self-employed, these are defined by the governments in terms of a “tax holiday” with regard to the average and the petty bourgeoisie.
And the savings in public spending are obtained by sacrificing the health and education sectors in particular!
The response remains to be built
For workers, a reduction in the tax burden, i.e. taxes on wages, is expected, which will lead to a ridiculous increase in wages, from 10 to 20 euros per month while inflation has climbed to 12%; this will in any case be paid for by the workers through the reduction of public revenues and therefore of spending capacities for public services.
Meloni and company were able to act with impunity because no serious mass political and social opposition was built in the fall, not only, unsurprisingly, from the two main opposition parties, the PD (Democratic Party) and the M5S (5 Star Movement), but also on the side of the unions. The CGIL and the UIL adopted a posture of passive observer except at the last minute when, to save face, the two unions called for a symbolic four-hour strike which, late and badly organized, turned out to be totally ineffective. The struggles and demonstrations of the base unions were combative but, given their size, they could not have an impact on the overall dynamic.
In a context where the government is already announcing new economic and institutional measures of an anti-social and anti-democratic nature, there is still much to do for the anti-fascist and labor forces.