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Afternoon brain snack: Young Italians Paid to Move Out

I like this afternoon brain snack idea. And the internet is full of appetizing (?) tidbits.

So here’s an interesting story.

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.

There was a flurry over at CNN about whether or not a 28-year-old “late bloomer” should move out so her parents could retire. In Italy this seems to be a much bigger problem. I don’t think it bodes well for a country when a large segment of their population is under-employed and has little or no prospects of advancement. Over a third of the ones over 30. It doesn’t even say how many under 30 are also living at home.

I don’t think the tax break would work. That’s just me. We’ll see how this plays out, I guess.


Laura October 12, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Man, I could’ve used that tax break a few years back. 😛 I know for some people it’s a cultural issue to have a home with multi-generations. this, though, seems like an economic problem.

Mr. Micah October 12, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Depends on whether people living with their parents are making enough money to get taxed in the first place.

“Here’s a tax break.”
“I don’t make enough to have to pay taxes.”

SavingDiva October 12, 2007 at 3:50 pm

This is hilarious!

Jon October 13, 2007 at 9:30 am

Wow, 1/3 is a lot. I bet a lot of them are married with children themselves. Since the unemployment rate in Italy is only 7% and has been falling for years, I wonder how big of a factor the economic problems really are — unless it’s the older, retired parents who are in need of assistance, which isn’t ruled out by the wording.

Maybe the Italian government should address the supply side of the expensive housing problem through incentives to builders, which could lead to even more jobs at the same time.

frugal zeitgeist October 13, 2007 at 6:53 pm

I haven’t followed Italy much since the Euro was adopted, but certainly before that time, inflation was rampant. I’m sure it was a major contributing factor at that time, but I don’t know if that’s still the case.

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