ITALY - Social welfare minister Roberto Maroni has hailed the nation's ‘super bonus' scheme as a success and confirmed it could be extended beyond its 2008 deadline.
The super bonus - a contribution bonus given to those who opt to work longer than the legal pensionable age - was introduced in 2004 on a trial period ending December 31, 2007.
The super bonus structure has been widely criticised, but Maroni insisted opponents had now been proved wrong.
Beyond the conjectures made by those who are annoyed with the fact that an initiative of this government has worked, the facts show that the 'super bonus' has entirely reached the target we set ourselves and that retirement pensions have been drastically reduced, he said.
Government is now planning an examination of the super bonus, and based on that the deadline could be extended, Maroni said.
If [the examination] shows that the 'super bonus' has actually been useful to reduce Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale disbursements and improve the accounts, as has been the case so far, it could be extended.
By Damian Clarkson
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