Monti wins vote on spending cuts
Italian prime minister Mario Monti won a confidence vote today on a bill to cut spending by an extra €4.5 billion this year in order to rein in the deficit and delay a planned increase in sales tax.
Italy's chamber of deputies voted 403 to 86 to back Mr Monti and pave the way for a final vote to convert the bill into law in the afternoon.
A confidence vote was called to limit debate and accelerate the passage before the summer recess.
The expenditure reductions are in addition to the €10.5 billion in savings envisioned in Mr Monti's austerity package, which was passed in December.
Savings from the cuts will increase to €10.9 billion in 2013, and €11.7 billion in 2014, and they will push back a 2-percentage-point increase in sales tax until July of next year.
The increase in sales tax rates - currently set at 10 per cent and 21 per cent - was due to take effect in October. Some €600 million will go to further reducing the deficit this year.
New cash-saving measures include reductions in health care spending and a gradual trimming of the number of workers employed in the public sector.