Italian ministers publish incomes online in transparency drive

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2013 11:33 AM
Italian ministers publish incomes online in transparency drive

ROME (Reuters) - All the ministers in Enrico Letta's left-right coalition government have published their incomes and assets online, aiming to set an example of transparency as they step up the fight against tax evasion.

Italian newspapers on Sunday ran tables and illustrated charts ranking the ministers based on their reported salaries and wealth.

Justice Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri topped the tables with a reported income of about 319,000 euros ($423,100) for 2012 and a long list of property, land and other investments.

Prime Minister Letta declared 124,000 euros of income and no investments. Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge reported the least, declaring an income of about 38,500 euros and a stake in one property.

Letta visited Italy's tax collection agencies on Wednesday, saying he planned to step up the fight against evasion, which is estimated to cost Italy 120 billion euros a year. He said the funds recovered could help lower taxes across the board.

Tackling tax evasion has been a key part of recent efforts to reduce Italy's huge public debt, equivalent to nearly 130 percent of annual output.

The salaries declared by Letta's government are relatively modest compared to those of the previous cabinet, which published salaries online in February 2012.

Cancellieri's predecessor at the Justice Ministry, Paola Severino, reported 7 million euros of income for her work as a lawyer in 2010, while former Prime Minister Mario Monti declared a 1.5 million euro income and several houses.

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby)