Italy beats out other countries on the top-10 list for tax evasion, second only to Turkey and Mexico, head of the Audit Court Luigi Giampaolino told the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, citing a classification by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
A new "social pact" is needed to defeat the phenomenon that not only endangers public finances, but also "diverts potential resources for growth", Giampaolino said.
The Audit Court chief noted that if Italian tax evasion had been at US levels since 1970 (less than 3%) public debt would be much lower, 76% instead of 108% of GDP, and the changes necessary to adjust the public finances "much less demanding". The time has come "for the rebalancing of public finances and the start of the economic recovery," Giampaolino said.
Stamping out tax evasion would also contain runaway inequality in wealth distribution, Giampaolini added.