The survey conducted by the Foundation of engineers is clear: for 75% of engineers, the first quarter of 2020 ended with a reduction in turnover compared to the same period last year. 33% of the sample indicated that the reduction was greater than 30%. For 9.3% there was an increase and for 15% the turnover remained stable. And those who managed to increase their turnover took advantage of works that took place between the end of last year and the first two months of this. For half of the professionals in two months, in the absence of effective measures, the liquid resources to be able to manage the study will be finished. Almost 77% of the engineers have concentrated in recent months on jobs acquired before the crisis; in essence he tried to manage the manageable; 13% proposed jobs to private clients and 10% tried to work on public tenders, with all the limitations that this entails, given the slowdown already in place in the publication of new tenders, not to mention the foreseeable slowdown of the completion of the races themselves. “Today’s rules are born old – says Armando Zambrano, president of Italian engineers – the procurement code is the son of tangentopoli, applies outdated and counterproductive criteria for the current situation. We need clear and non-impeding rules. Those who transgress pay, but there must be legal certainty and certain times for the duration of the construction sites ».
According to the survey of the engineers, the picture could improve for almost half of the respondents (49.2%) between now and late summer; relies on the possibility of new jobs and assignments. But for many it will be a very slight and probably slow improvement. The recovery, for the vast majority of professional firms, depends on a multiplicity of factors that concern for example the climate of general trust, the trend of public investments, the availability of liquid resources, the ability of the Public Administrations to facilitate the work of the professionals, the ability of the government authorities to really implement, beyond the many announcements, coherent (and not disorganized as often happened) interventions to relaunch the economy, the possibility for professionals to immediately benefit from support measures that allow to face the emergency phase, the availability of less oppressive fiscal measures.
“Among the different measures that can be used to face the crisis – recalls the president of the engineers – those related to lightening the tax burden on individual professionals appear to be the top priority. In particular, the reshaping of the rates for the years 2020 and 2021, in an extraordinary way, is the measure considered as a priority, which is also associated with the postponement to 2021 of the advance payment to be paid in autumn 2020, for the 2019 income “. It is clear that given the current standstill and the persistent liquidity crisis, many professionals expect not to have sufficient resources to pay the income taxes of the previous year, as the income framework has radically changed. “No one forgets – warns Zambrano – that construction generates a very large supply chain and keeping this sector steady means blocking the economy. It would be enough to align the rules on public works with the European discipline. Thinking about not investing in our building stock would be suicide “.