Minimum Income: The Italian Trajectory

WP-LPF 1/14

WP-LPF 2014
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Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


Several studies in comparative welfare state research have emphasized the absence of a proper anti-poverty strategy and especially the lack of a minimum income scheme (MIS) in Italy; others focused on the failed attempt to introduce a national MIS in the late 1990s; while some scholars investigated the existence of several (yet often meagre) local anti-poverty programs. The Pirandellian title One, No One and One Hundred Thousand looks therefore as a suitable metaphor able to capture the nature of the Italian anti-poverty policy scenario. Against this backdrop, though constrained by austerity measures and permanent lack of resources, social assistance gained more salience over the last years and a closer look at its transformation reveals that, albeit timidly, things are moving both at the national and regional level. Building on this framework, the paper has a twofold purpose. First, it aims at presenting the developments occurred in the Italian anti-poverty strategy during the last two decades. Second, the paper provides an overview of the latest trends in terms of poverty and material deprivation in comparative perspective, that—in the light of the current economic crisis—call for a rapid modernisation of the national social safety net of last resort.