What the electoral programs of the parties say about work

What the electoral programs of the parties say about work

According to data provided by Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union, Italy ended 2021 in third place in the European Union for unemployment rate with 9.5%, behind only Spain (14.8% ) and Greece (14.7%). Istat data indicate that in the first part of 2022 there were some signs of improvement, and in the first quarter of the year the unemployment rate settled at 8.8%. However, an alarming fact remains: among the people who currently do not have a job and are actively looking for it, almost one in ten fails. And it doesn't stop there.

Also according to Eurostat in 2021 almost 10% of the population that has the age requirements to be considered part of the workforce has no interest or need to work, or works illegally, and about 5% is underemployed , that is, he is too qualified for the job he does. Furthermore, of the employed workers, 54.7% have a fixed-term contract. These figures are higher if we consider exclusively women and young people, reflecting a labor market that is still not very inclusive and accessible. Faced also with the economic crisis ahead, work will have to be at the center of the agenda of any government that comes to be formed after the elections on 25 September. Let's see what the different parties propose on the subject.

Center-right League Democratic Party Italia Viva and Action 5 Star Green Movement and Italian Left More Europe Possible Popular Union Elections 2022 The electoral campaign for the vote on 25 September gets underway

Arrow Center-right The joint program of the center-right does not go into much detail on the issue of work, relegating it to the eighth chapter of the text. The proposals inserted mostly aim to reduce labor costs, both for workers and for companies. There is talk of cuts in the tax wedge, the tax exemption of corporate welfare also through the tax reduction of production bonuses, greater protection for self-employed workers and freelancers and the extension of the possibility of using work vouchers. However, there are no references to how these cuts will be covered, and the nature of these greater protections and how the vouchers will be used are not specified.

As far as inclusiveness is concerned, the program merely mentions a less detailed "fight against irregular work" and a strengthening of the deduction mechanisms for female work, the under 35s, the disabled and hiring less favored areas. Finally, mention is made of the "policies to support companies with high employment intensity", which the leader of Fratelli d'Italia Giorgia Meloni, in the course of her social campaign, summarized with the slogan "the more you hire, the less you pay", again without presenting a financing plan to cover these costs. Citizenship income is defined as a measure to "replace", but it is not specified with what exactly.

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Lega The program of the party led by Matteo Salvini goes into a little more detail on some of these measures and proposes further ones. There are, for example, the reduction of the tax wedge by 10 percentage points for 10 years, the introduction of the crime of exploitation for those who use illegal workers, the extension of the age of the apprenticeship contract up to 35 years and a fixed income tax at 5% for the first three years of permanent employment. However, it is not clear how the cost cuts for workers and businesses will be covered.

Furthermore, while the joint program speaks of citizenship income simply as a measure to be replaced, the Lega program considers it a measure to be revised, "giving greater weight to the family quotient" and transforming it into a "true and its own social safety net "for recipients eligible for work. This implies training courses, internships and contracting of the recipients at the end of the course.

Democratic party The Democratic Party places work at the center of the so-called "second pillar" on which the party vision of Italy of the future is based. The basic objective is to "reduce the gaps" between the different categories of workers, promoting the integration of women and young people in the market, helping the precarious and regularizing "undeclared work". In this regard, among the proposals presented there are a facilitated taxation for the second earner of the family and a total cut in the contributions for the permanent hiring of young people up to 35 years - without specifying how it intends to finance them - a strengthening of controls on undeclared and undeclared work, a bonus clause for youth and female employment, the promotion of smart working, the obligation to pay for curricular internships and the abolition for extra-curricular internships.

The Democratic Party also aims to "recalibrate" citizenship income - starting from what the program defines as an unjustified penalty for large families, which receive a few hundred euros more than single people - and to create about 500 thousand jobs with investments in renewables (but without specifying on what basis). Finally, the Democratic Party proposes to introduce a minimum wage - which according to estimates should be equal to about 9 euros gross per hour - following the "German model" without specifying how it intends to adapt it to our country. The issue of gig economy work is not addressed, on which the dem Andrea Orlando, now Minister of Labor, has not made particular progress.

In Europe there is an agreement to establish a minimum wage It is expected an understanding between the Commission, the Council and the Parliament. Italy, too, at that point would be required to approve the Italia Viva and Action measure. The joint program of parties led respectively by Matteo Renzi and Carlo Calenda - the so-called "third pole" - aims to make the labor market more efficient and fair , increasing their productivity and inclusiveness for young people. In this regard, the program proposes the introduction of a minimum wage through "a series of actions shared with the social partners" including a law that fights pirate contracts, tax relief for productivity bonuses, support for companies investing in retraining of their workforce (by reimbursing, for example, specialized courses for employees) and the simplification of work-related bureaucracy.

As regards citizenship income, which the program defines as “a badly designed instrument”, the third pole proposes some changes to the current regulatory framework. First of all, the elimination of the subsidy after the first refusal of a suitable job offer and no longer after the second. Secondly, a time limit of two years to find employment, after which the amount of the allowance must be reduced by at least one third. Finally, to allow private agencies “concretely” to find work for income earners, a measure already introduced by the Draghi government, but which the third pole wants to strengthen.

5 Star Movement The 5 Star Movement also aims to raise the conditions of the most disadvantaged workers and reduce the gaps between the different categories of workers. Among the proposals included in the program of the movement led by Giuseppe Conte are the establishment of a legal minimum wage of nine euros gross per hour, an unspecified strengthening of measures to combat precarious work and the abolition of free internships and traineeships. .

Great emphasis is given to strengthening the citizen's income - which has always been one of the movement's flagships - and to reducing working hours with the same salary in the most technologically intensive sectors, for which they would be provided for exemptions, tax credits and incentives for companies that introduce it. Finally, the program mentions a new statute for jobs, workers and workers "to guarantee employees and self-employed the same rights and the same protections". The issue of gig economy work is not addressed, for a few years at the center of the Movement's agenda when Luigi Di Maio (now out) was Minister of Labor and remained without any progress in terms of protections.

Che did the contract for the riders come to an end? Verdi and the Italian Left The joint program of the parties led respectively by Angelo Bonelli and Nicola Fratoianni starts from the concept of “dignity” to present the chapter of their program dedicated to work. A reduction in working hours for equal wages is proposed, starting from the establishment of a fund to encourage companies to experience shorter days and weeks of work without affecting workers' income, a minimum wage of 10 euros per hour , and a series of regulatory interventions on the procurement code that make fixed-term contracts more complex to stipulate and thus favor the fight against precarious work. Safety at work and the restoration of a system of protection against unjustified dismissals are also mentioned, and it is proposed to establish a system to automatically increase the wages of workers based on the growth of inflation to safeguard the purchasing power of families.

Più Europa The program of Più Europa deals with training and work in the same section - which by the way is the first chapter of the program - demonstrating how the interventions proposed by the party led by Emma Bonino aim above all at creating a labor market "that knows how to recognize and enhance talents". Among the proposals implemented in this sense, there are the strengthening of apprenticeship contracts for young people, the introduction of training-work vouchers that can be spent by beneficiaries for certified training courses and the promotion of a greater number of training courses in agency . It is not clear how the party intends to finance this measure.

Other key points of the program are the protection of employed workers through a more objective, clear and transparent definition of the legislation on discriminatory dismissals, the introduction of the Job Voucher as a "tool for disciplining and regulating jobs impromptu ", the enhancement of smart working, and the introduction of a single system of social safety nets that no longer distinguishes between employees, self-employed and entrepreneurs. Regarding citizenship income, the program limits itself to talking about reform "in the direction indicated by the Draghi government". Finally, on the minimum wage, the program speaks of a mobile minimum wage, defined in agreement between the social partners and on the basis of the productive sectors and therefore not fixed.

Possible Giuseppe Civati's party work program revolves around the introduction of the binding minimum wage, but touches on several other points, such as the abolition of unpaid internships for young people and the allocation of higher resources for combating illegal work. Two fundamental points that Possible deepens more than other parties are smart working - considered a tool in which to invest heavily and on the basis of which to reform the regulatory framework of current work - and safety at work, for which the proposal is to increase inspections in the workplace in order to avoid accidents. Finally, the regulation of part-time contracts and a reform of citizenship income is proposed.

Popular union The party led by the former mayor of Naples Luigi De Magistris entitles the first chapter of its electoral program Reward and respect the work, demonstrating the importance that the party associates with the issue. Among the points touched on in the program, there are the introduction of the legal minimum wage of 10 euros gross per hour, the abolition of the Jobs Act (the labor reform desired by Matteo Renzi) and all the laws "that have encouraged the precariousness "in order to make the permanent contract the standard contractual form, the hiring of 10 thousand labor inspectors to carry out more stringent controls that guarantee more safety in the workplace, and the hiring of 1 million people in the public sector , particularly in schools and health care. The program does not specify where it intends to find the funds to implement these measures.

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