Italy expands €200 payment scheme and introduces public transport bonus

Italy's government will extend its proposed one-time €200 benefit to more people and introduce a €60 public transport payment, Italian media reported on Thursday.

Italy's government has introduced a €60 one-time public transport benefit for students and workers earning under €35,000 a year.
Italy's government has introduced a €60 one-time public transport benefit for students and workers earning under €35,000 a year. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

Seasonal workers, domestic and cleaning staff, the self-employed, the unemployed and those on Italy’s ‘citizens’ income’ will be added to the categories of people in Italy eligible for a one-off €200 payment, ministers reportedly announced on Thursday evening.

The one-time bonus, announced earlier this week as part of a package of financial measures designed to offset the rising cost of living, was initially set to be for pensioners and workers on an income of less than €35,000 only.

However the government has now agreed to extend the payment to the additional groups following pressure from Italy’s labour, families, and regional affairs ministers and representatives of the Five Star Movement, according to news agency Ansa.

Pensioners and employees will reportedly receive the €200 benefit between June and July via a direct payment into their pension slip or pay packet.

For other groups, a special fund will be created at the Labour Ministry and the procedures for claiming and distributing payments detailed in an incoming decree, according to the Corriere della Sera news daily.

One new measure introduced at the cabinet meeting on Thursday is the introduction of a one-time €60 public transport bonus for students and workers earning below €35,000. The bonus is reportedly designed to encourage greater use of public transport and will take the form of an e-voucher that can be used when purchasing a bus, train or metro season pass.

Other provisions reportedly proposed in the energy and investment decree (decreto energia e investimenti), which is still being adjusted and amended, include extending energy bill discounts, cutting petrol excise duty and rolling on the deadline to claim Italy’s popular ‘superbonus 110’.

The €14 billion aid package, intended to lessen the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, will “fight the higher cost of living” and is “a temporary situation”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said.

The Local will report further details of the payment scheme once they become available following final approval of the decree.

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Italy’s nurses to get monthly pay rise of up to €170

Over half a million healthcare workers in Italy are set for a pay rise after a government deal with trade unions, ministers said on Thursday.

Italy's nurses to get monthly pay rise of up to €170

Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced the wage hike in social media posts on Thursday morning.

“More rights, more protections and more money in the paycheck for 545,000 healthcare workers who finally have a new contract,” a tweet reads.

“For the roughly 270,000 nurses, raises of between 146 and 170 euros per month. Our healthcare workers are our most precious resource.”

The collective bargaining agreement was signed between Aran, the agency tasked with representing Italian public administrations in labour negotiations, and six healthcare unions late on Wednesday evening, according to Italian media reports.

Under the agreement, healthcare staff will get a monthly pay rise of up to €98 per month, with nurses receiving an additional allowance of €72.

While nurses will receive the steepest salary hike, administrative staff, midwives, researchers and radiologists are all due to get pay rises of at least €90, reports newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

READ ALSO: Cost of living: How does Italy compare to the rest of the world in 2022?

Other provisions included in the contract include the introduction of a bonus allowance of between €10,000 and €20,000 for newly created managerial positions that require high levels of professional training, experience and competence.

The extra hourly rate for working night shifts rises from €2.74 to €4, according to financial news outlet

Nurses will be eligible to receive pay rises of up to €7,700 over the course of their career, via seven individual annual salary hikes of €1,100 each.

A total of €241.6 million has reportedly been budgeted to pay for the increases.

No start date was announced for the pay increase, with reports stating that further details are still to come.

Unions said they were broadly content with the outcome but expect further investment in Italy’s healthcare sector.

“This opens a new season for the recognition of public health care work in our country,” the CGIL union’s general secretary Maurizio Landini reportedly said.

“The contract represents regained rights, now we expect a significant investment in employment and the national health service.”