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Italian equivalent of Family 500+ Benefits also for the unborn

Published: 26.04.2021

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The Italian Senate has approved a decree introducing a universal child benefit. Payments are scheduled to start on 1 July this year. The benefit will be paid monthly for every child from the seventh month of pregnancy until twenty-one years of age. The amount of the benefit will range from EUR 80 to 250, depending on budget availability and other factors. Importantly, families with more than three children and with disabled children will receive higher amounts of the benefit.

The benefit will be paid for every child in parental custody in accordance with the criteria of universality and progression. The exact amount of the benefit, calculated on the basis of the base amount, will depend on such factors as the age of the dependent children and the economic situation of the family. The benefit will be provided as tax relief or paid in cash. For adult children, benefits will be paid directly to the child rather than the parents, provided the child meets other conditions, such as attending a school or university, vocational course or on-the job training, or working part-time.

The introduction of this allowance was planned as the first stage of reforms to improve demographic indicators in Italy. The Minister for Family, Elena Bonetti, speaking at the Senate meeting, said that “this is the first step of a historic reform”, the next elements of which are to address issues such as increasing access to childcare in nurseries or making it easier for mothers to return to work. The Italian Government will use the EU recovery fund to finance the reforms. 

“Italy has been dealing with demographic problems for several decades, which have been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis it caused. The Italian Republic has entered the pandemic with enormous debts, and the largely tourism-based economy has been – like the rest of southern Europe – hit hard by the crisis. These factors, especially uncertainty of employment and problems with finding employment, do not make it easier for people to decide to have children. The benefit will be a significant contribution to family budgets, especially for young parents – given that it will be paid even before a child is born, so that the parents may provide for the child’s needs in advance. That is why the Polish legislator should also consider paying the 500+ benefit to children who have been conceived but not yet born,” points out Konrad Dyda, analyst at the Ordo Iuris Legislative Analysis Centre.

 

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