|  NEWS

Lawmakers in Italy are urging the government to impose a one-off tax on banks’ energy trading profits as Rome is targeting energy firms’ increased earnings.

This is according to parliamentary documents viewed by Reuters news agency.

Since the beginning of the year, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has allocated over 30 billion Euros to help firms and households facing soaring electricity, gas and petrol prices, as the war in Ukraine impacts Italy’s economic prospects.

In addition, €11 billion is stemming from a 25% windfall tax on energy groups that have profited from skyrocketing oil and gas prices.

However, a number of lawmakers from the ruling 5-Star Movement, the PD and LEU parties have submitted proposals to parliament to prolong the windfall tax to banks and brokers trading in gas, electricity and petrol products. In addition, the tax would apply to trading in energy-related financial derivatives, Reuters reports.

It's not yet known whether the government will support these proposals, with discussions taking place over the coming days in parliament.

The windfall tax may help to finance further stimulus measures, without increasing the budget deficit, which is something the Prime Minister wants to avoid.

The ruling parties are in accord of a hike to the budget deficit worth billions of Euros to provide a boost to Italy’s economy, yet up to now the Treasury has held public borrowing at 5.6% of national output, a reduction from 7.2% last year.

Without increasing the budget deficit, Italy is planning to extend a 25 cents per litre cut in excise duties on fuel prices beyond the current 8th July expiry date, government officials informed Reuters news agency.

Additional measures are being mooted to slash taxes on low-income workers, the officials added.

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