The waste of the Public Administration (PA) is worth billions. Contrary to popular belief, in the “give-and-take” relationship between the State and the Italian taxpayer, it is certainly the latter who lose out, from a strictly economic point of view. The CGIA Studies Office reached this conclusion by “creating” a sort of backward do ut des; that is, comparing the lack of revenue that the Public Administration suffers due to the tax infidelity of Italians with the additional costs that are borne by families and businesses due to the malfunctioning of public services.
Although the comparison has no statistical rigor, it has an unassailable conceptual “severity”. According to data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, tax evasion in Italy is estimated at around 110 billion euros per year. A frighteningly high amount which, however, appears decidedly lower than the burdens that citizens and businesses suffer by virtue of the waste, waste and inefficiencies present in our PA. Looking at the results of some studies conducted by half a dozen very authoritative research institutions, the economic damage to Italian taxpayers would be over 200 billion euros per year. This is an economic dimension that is almost double that of tax evasion.
The CGIA Studies Office is keen to point out that, the one just mentioned, is a comparison that has no scientific rigor: the economic effects of public inefficiencies affecting companies in particular are from different sources, the data are not homogeneous,
in many cases the fields overlap and, for these reasons, they cannot be added together.
The reflection, however, has its own conceptual rigor: despite there is a lot of evasion, an inefficient PA causes much greater economic damage to individuals. The conclusion reached by the CGIA does not appear to be taken for granted, given that a good part of public opinion has a strong sensitivity towards the issue of tax evasion, however, considering the effects of waste, waste and inefficiencies of our public car.
Evasion cannot be experienced as an alibi because there is waste. The coordinator of the Studies Office Paolo Zabeo asserts: “Let’s clear the field of any misunderstanding: evasion must never be justified and we must fight it wherever it lurks, whether it concerns small or large tax evaders. In fact, if we brought to light a good part of the resources illegally stolen from the Treasury, our PA would have more money, it would work better and, probably, the conditions would be created to lighten the tax burden. In addition to this, it is equally essential to intervene to significantly reduce the waste that weighs on state spending and to increase the productivity of labor among the public. Italy would benefit greatly and, most likely, tax evasion and tax burden would be more contained. In other words, with less evasion and a more efficient PA we could create the conditions to relaunch this country ”.
From the CGIA, however, they are keen to point out that it would be wrong to generalize and not recognize the levels of excellence that characterize many sectors of our PA, such as, for example, health, education, research and the quality of the service provided by the forces of order.
It is necessary to reform the tax authorities
“For many companies – declares Secretary Renato Mason – next autumn will be a very delicate stress test. Probably, many will struggle to overcome this difficult phase linked to the effects of the health crisis; some signs, in fact, do not bode well. The government, however, absolutely must put a hand to our tax system as soon as possible, reducing the levy and the number of obligations that continue to be too many and often difficult to fulfill. With less taxes and a softer fiscal bureaucracy, the conditions can be created to restart the economy. Without forgetting that our country is based on a connective tissue made up of many SMEs who are struggling to get an answer to the countless problems that affect their work ”.
The main inefficiencies / waste in our PA
The CGIA Studies Office has collected and aligned the results of a series of analyzes on the inefficiencies and waste that characterize our PA. In summary they are:
-The annual cost incurred by companies for managing relations with the PA (bureaucracy) is equal to 57 billion euros (Source: The European House Ambrosetti);
-The trade payables of the PA to its suppliers amount to 53 billion euros (Source: Bank of Italy);
-The logistical-infrastructural deficit penalizes our economic system for an amount of 40 billion euros per year (Source: Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport);
-If Italian civil justice had the same timing as the German one, the gain in terms of GDP would be 40 billion euros per year (Source: CER-Eures);
– There are 24 billion euros of excess public spending that do not allow us to lower our tax burden to the EU average (Source: Discussion paper 23 European Commission);
-Waste and corruption in health care cost the community 23.5 billion euros every year (Source: ISPE);
-Waste and inefficiencies in the local public transport sector amount to 12.5 billion euros per year (Source: The European House Ambrosetti-Ferrovie dello Stato).