Govt budget isn't 'gospel', says deputy premier Alfano

(ANSA) - Rome, October 22 - The 2014 budget bill is not sacred and the government is open to improvements in parliament, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Tuesday.

The package has been blasted by business associations and trade unions, who have announced they will stage four hours of strikes, and members of the parties supporting Premier Enrico Letta's grand-coalition government.

It has been criticised for not doing enough to boost growth, as Italy tries to pull out of its longest recession in over two decades, and being too timid with income and labour tax cuts.

On Monday, meanwhile, a group of pro-government lawmakers for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party issued a statement chastising other PdL members for undermining the administration with criticism of the budget.

"The stability law is not the fifth gospel and there is room to intervene in parliament," Alfano said on Italian radio.

"There are positive and negative points in the bill, but a constructive approach is needed because, with those who just say that it's not good, it means that they want to bring down the government".

Alfano, who is also the PdL secretary, led a party rebellion at the start of the month that forced Berlusconi to make a U-turn and drop a bid to sink the executive of Letta, a member of the centre-left Democratic Party.

No votes yet