Taxes: how much tax evaders steal from health care at school and on the streets | Milena Gabanelli

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How many investments can be made with 100 billion more in cash each year? To get an idea: all expenditure on services is worth 335 billion (health, education, defense, public order, economic affairs, general services, social protection). Infrastructures can be built: from ultra-broadband (almost 11 million Italians are not connected) to equipped ports without having to bind Chinese money, hire more doctors, pay better teachers, have more kindergartens, decent services for the elderly, spend in training. But this money is lacking because Italy among the European countries that escapes more and punishes less. And today we face the disaster of Covid-19 as an infected with other serious pathologies. We are not talking about the undergrowth that arranges to get by, but about the systematic and planned evasion of the entrepreneur, trader, professional, who does not pay based on his real contribution capacity because he is convinced that the state is a thief. Well, let’s see how many services it uses without having contributed to paying the costs.

Health: how much the interventions cost

If he is sick, call the ambulance: the basic service costs 120 euros, in case of an accident or a heart attack, the equipped one costs 300 euros, but nobody asks him for a credit card before taking him to the emergency room. The free service for everyone. When he does a diagnostic test, he pays only the ticket and if he goes to the hospital to perform an operation, whatever it is, he pays zero. If he wants to skip the waiting lists, choose the specialist, stay in a single room, he has to pay out of his own pocket, addressing both the public and the accredited private individual, but the cost of the intervention does not pay him in full, neither he nor the insurance, the National Health Service takes care of that thanks to the health card that has been in its pocket since birth. A craniotomy costs 15,000 euros, a vertebral arthrodesis 15,000 euros, an operation on heart valves 20,000, coronary artery bypass grafting and angioplasty 25,000. If unfortunately he falls ill with cancer, a one-year treatment cycle costs 90,000 euros; intensive care 2000 euros per day. Insurance covers comfort, but the state, that is the taxpayer, does not think about everything that falls within the essential levels of assistance. They are 121 billion in the last year.

High Speed: use the net but don’t pay it

convenient to reach Rome from Milan in three hours, Bologna and Turin in an hour. The ticket includes the cost of the service, staff and maintenance, but not the high-speed infrastructure. All the state has paid out the 42 billion spent so far to build 1280 km of tracks and tunnels. And he, the tax evader, did not contribute. On the normal network, on the other hand, the one that allows commuters to go to work (even in your company), the ticket price is very low, but only pays the service (on some bad routes), while the maintenance and the infrastructure are entirely charged of general taxation. If you travel by bus in the city, your ticket does not pay the full cost because the services must be guaranteed, even in the extreme suburbs and mountain communities (where maybe your aunt or client lives), and the price of the ride does not pay the costs of the service.

Road network: consumes it but does not pay it

The highway is completely private and the toll includes everything. But when he drives a ring road with his car, from the ring road of Rome, to the East and West ring roads of Milan, to the Bologna junction, it pays nothing. Just as it does not pay to travel on city, provincial and state roads, where the snowplow passes in winter, the roadmen scatter the salt and in summer the lawnmowers intervene. Traffic ruins the asphalt and forms holes. There are 30,000 km of state roads, those with 4 lanes cost – in extraordinary maintenance, depreciation and upgrading – 120,000 euros per km, those with two lanes 8,000 euros, while 5,000 for one million municipal roads, excluding the cost of public lighting. One parameter: keeping the streets of Milan decent (1,500km), the municipality spends 32 million euros. all built and paid for by the public, or by the taxpayer. But he doesn’t.

How it escapes waste and water

Both bills do not cover the entire service: state transfers for waste management amount to 1.3 billion and for water distribution 921 million. The tariff calculated on the basis of consumption and income and he pays less because his Isee is untrue. But also use other ways:
1) declares to live in an 80 m2 apartment instead of 150;
2) the rate for domestic use lower than that for office use, but inside the home he carries out undeclared freelance activities;
3) sublet two rooms in black for students and therefore increase the volume of waste. If then the municipalized company doesn’t manage to have the means to make ends meet, the streets are dirty. If instead the one under his house is clean, he has not paid for it.
Even inside the water bill there is not everything. The reservoirs for the water reserve are borne by the state (for example Bracciano supplies water to Rome). In some areas of Italy, purification services are borne by public finance. In the end, the honest taxpayer paid the disposal of the heavy footprint and the cleaning of his toilet.

Municipal services and supermarket shopping

It is common to ask for an electronic identity card, pay 20 euros, but they are not enough to cover the costs of technology, the employee’s salary, the rent and the heating of the offices. For these expenses, we draw on the municipal taxes on which it has not paid the due. How public decoration did not pay: the gardens or parks where you go for a walk, play with your children or run around with the dog. Milk, oil, wine, fruit and vegetables are cheaper at the supermarket because agriculture receives EU contributions: 31 billion over the past 7 years. This EU activity is financed with VAT, which he does not pay (black out) or even collects through false invoices.

110 billion stolen every year

The theft, estimated at 110 billion a year, prevents lowering taxes, crumbles the quality of services, blocks the country and weighs like a boulder on the misfortune that has affected us this year, in which many of those who have always paid will not be able to do it. In addition there is the theft on approximately 20 billion euros of profits made in Italy by multinational companies and transferred every year to tax havens (National bureau of economic research). Of these beyond 17 flow into favorably taxed European countries: Luxembourg, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, Cyprus and Malta. Nobody made money alone and who has more helps those who have less, but they accumulate, they don’t invest in the company, they widen inequalities.

190 billion on foreign accounts

Then there are 2 million Italian citizens who deposited 190 billion out of 3 million foreign current accounts. This is the information on the financial accounts that come from the international automatic exchange network (CRS) to which 108 jurisdictions have joined and relating to 2018. From Panama to Antigua, from Switzerland to Malta, from the Bahamas to the Channel Islands. Among these there are certainly citizens who have paid their taxes in Italy but keep money on foreign banks because they do not trust the Italian banks, they fear an asset, or they are wealthy people who have a beach house in Bermuda or London and have opened an account for convenience. The Revenue Agency will have to ascertain them one by one (but under staff for years). For example: what are 20 million euros doing on the bank account of an Italian entrepreneur at a bank in the Cayman Islands? Of course 190 billion is a lot of money that, parked outside the country, they weaken the system because they cannot be used by our banks to make loans. In a time of such serious difficulty, regardless of the assessment, giving the option to invest 20% in a dedicated BTP Italy, with a yield of 1.5% for 3 years and tax exempt, would bring here a little liquidity. In the end, a serious contrast to evasion possible only with appropriate means, or political will. But tax evaders and greedy people have three things in common: they complain, there are many of them and they vote.

May 31, 2020 | 22:39

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