In response to the severe public health emergency and the economically-damaging nationwide confinement measures triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, over the last few months the Italian government, like many others, has introduced provisions whose principal objectives are to: support the Italian economy and businesses affected by the lock-down, support the workforce and families, regulate the day-to-day operation of the country (i.e. activities allowed vs. those temporarily forbidden and/or limited).
In this respect the following are the two main bills passed:
While the first decree consisted in labour and tax support measures (such as allowing companies to lay off staff and suspending and postponing the payment of pension and health benefits), the Liquidity Decree introduced additional, more specific measures.
In particular the Cura Italia Decree focused on:
i. providing funds and introducing measures to strengthen Italy’s public health system, Civil Protection Agency and other public authorities involved in managing the crisis;
ii. introducing specific measures to maintain employment and protect workers, by activating “social shock absorbers” and reducing working hours;
iii. introducing a mixture of tax deferrals, i.e. moratoriums, extensions on the payment of social charges and the collection of tax debts in support of households and businesses;
iv. introducing further measures to protect households, SMEs and micro enterprises through the bank system and loan guarantees granted by the Central Guarantee Fund; and
v. industry-specific measures.
The provisions in the recently approved Liquidity Decree focus on :
i. protecting liquidity for businesses;
ii. providing tax relief;
iii. strengthening the government’s special powers in areas of strategic importance and preventing “predatory purchases”;
iv. ensuring business continuity in going concerns during this emergency period.