Between anger and uncertainty: Italy after the abrupt end of citizens’ money

In Italy, the Meloni government abolished citizen’s money, known as “Reddito di Cittadinanza.” A decision that is met with considerable resistance in Naples, for example, where one in eight residents received the benefit, reports “World”.

Accordingly, there is an atmosphere of anger and uncertainty in the southern Italian city. But not just there. Many citizens feel abandoned by the government – and express this through protests.

Michele De Franco, a 62-year-old former recipient of this benefit, told the newspaper that he was very concerned about the future after the abolition of citizens’ benefit. He emphasized that citizen’s money saved him from homelessness four years ago.

SMS informed about the abolition of citizens’ money in Italy

The decision to cancel the citizen’s benefit was communicated to tens of thousands of recipients via a text message from the social authorities at the end of July. The measure has been criticized by many as being rushed as it leaves people without a clear alternative. Gennaro Saiello, an opposition member from the Campania region where Naples is located, complains that many people are now left with “nothing”.

By abolishing citizen’s money, the Meloni government responded to the widespread view among its voters that citizen’s money was a “gift of money for the lazy and sly”. The government plans to replace citizen’s benefit with a new benefit called “inclusion assistance” aimed at pensioners, families with underage children and people with disabilities.

Expert calls for reform instead of abolition of citizens’ money

Sergio Beraldo, an economist at the University of Naples Federico II, criticized the abolition and called for a reform of the citizen’s allowance to improve working conditions and ensure adequate pay, according to “Welt”.

The abolition of citizens’ money is in contrast to politics in Germany, where the benefit will be increased by around twelve percent from January 2024. The Italian government’s decision has created an atmosphere of anger and uncertainty in Naples, a city with a high number of benefit recipients, with many citizens feeling abandoned by the government.

Jean Harris

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