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Minimum income not guaranteed by the state: Protests and rising tension in Naples

The cops in Naples had a difficult morning on August 28th. Hundreds of protesters have stopped traffic in the city and downtown to protest the end of the minimum income guaranteed by the state donation (RDC in Italian).

Naples has the biggest number of beneficiaries in Italy, and tens of thousands of people have had their supply cut off in recent months.

Protests in Naples

The RDC will be phased out in 2023. The new budget law has brought amendments to Decree Law 4/2019, and not everyone has been satisfied, as indicated by the bustle in Naples today.

The current Meloni administration has agreed to phase out financial bonuses beginning January 1, 2024. However, this is not the news that has sparked so much controversy. In more detail, most beneficiary households are now receiving notice of the expiration of their allowance renewal.

Minimum income guaranteed by the state: protests and rising tension in Naples
A protester in Naples is holding a sign that reads, “the rich win the wars between the poor” | Credit

To date, only families with minors, the elderly over 60, and the crippled will continue to get the RDC, at least until next December 31. On January 1, 2024, it will be replaced by a new incentive, the details of which we do not yet know.

Because Naples has the highest percentage of previous receivers, the revolution was predictable. Stoppages occurred in July for approximately 154,000 households across Italy, with the goal of restricting access to all of them by December 31, 2023.

What is going on?

A true resistance demonstration was organized in the streets of Naples this morning. Beginning at Piazza Garibaldi, the demonstrators were able to overwhelm the forces of order and even approach a highway ramp, causing significant traffic disruption.

Among the screams of the mob of about 500 protesters is “Let us pass, you will not be able to stop us.” Several people also demonstrated in front of the INPS headquarters in Cosenza, but the significant deployment of police in riot gear in both cities has put everything to bed.

Protesters in Naples
Protesters in Naples – 28th August | Credit
We remove the misconception that we are idlers; I graduated, have two master’s degrees, and speak three languages, yet I am unable to get work since I am 56 years old. I sent out hundreds of resumes, and six firms said I was too big. So I ask the government and the President of the Calabria region what they plan to do for their fellow residents in my predicament. – Ex RDC receiver Luigi Guglielmelli

What does minimum income guaranteed by the state mean?

The RDC is an economic benefit, with monthly payments ranging from 400 to 840 euros per month.

The Conte I government originally announced this policy plan on March 6, 2019, igniting years of debate and actually dividing public opinion. Only some households might receive monthly financial assistance as a “social shock absorber” if they meet the qualifications. Nonetheless, we can readily state that poverty in Italy is still on the rise. According to Istat, one million poor people exist (since the bonus was released), yet around 56% of the poor never received the allowance due to the extremely stringent standards. Furthermore, there has never been a shortage of deception and illicit bargaining by individuals who are not entitled to the income of citizenship.

The 2023 budget bill has flipped the script and effectively eliminated practically all access to this talkative tax break. More than 48 million euros were issued without any conditions in November 2021 alone.

How did RDC work?

Protesters in Naples
The cops in Naples had a difficult morning on August 28th | Credit

Following eligibility for the RDC, applicants receive the fee established on a prepaid card charged by the INPS on a monthly basis.

The number of beneficiaries had been expected to reach 1,437,000. The validity duration was 18 months, and applicants could renew it if necessary at the conclusion of that time. The initial conditions for the beneficiary audience were:

  • ISEE for a household of less than EUR 9360 gross
  • Citizenship in Italy or EU nations
  • None of the household members were to own a car with a displacement greater than 250cc or a vehicle greater than 1600cc.

Changes at the top of government, on the other hand, have brought about various changes over the years, particularly in terms of access requirements.

For example, Law 197-2022 restricted potential applicants to a narrow range:

  • In the event of families with disabled or minor members, or those over the age of 60, ISEE can provide up to 9360 euros per year.
  • In the case of families consisting solely of “employable” persons (aged 18 to 59), ISEE will pay up to 6000 euros per year.

Since 2019, many amendments to the rules have normalized the bonus, with the ultimate cancellation desired by the Meloni government set for January 2024.

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