Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More Crazed Politicians

Really, you would think that people would think before they dreamed up idiot policies like this:

Italy's economy minister has sparked uproar by offering "big babies" a tax break if they let go of their mother's apron strings and left home.

More than a third of Italian men over the age of 30 live at home with their parents, a phenomenon blamed on sky-high apartment rents and bleak job prospects as much as a liking for mamma's cooking.

Economy Minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa offered to come to the rescue with a 1,000 euro ($1,411) tax break for 20- and 30-something Italians who rent.

He said the move was aimed at "bamboccioni," which evokes images of clumsy, overgrown male babies.

"We must send those we call 'big babies' out of the house," the minister told a Senate hearing on the 2008 draft budget.

"With the budget we'll help young people who don't marry and still live with their parents get out of the house."

It's not just the idiocy of targetting tax breaks in this way. It's also the fact that it won't work. A subsidy to people renting will always end up in hte wallets of the landlords: as more people, with more money, go out looking to rent, rents will then rise. This isn't, as it looks like, a subsidy to renters, it's a subsidy to landlords.

No comments: