If you happen to see someone slipping through the gates of a rented dream villa in Porto Cervo, Capri, Forte dei Marmi, Positano, Portofino or Taormina at the wheel of a luxury car, feel sorry. According to Contribuenti.it, in 47% of cases the driver will be a zero earner or pensioner with a social card [debit card issued to low-income holders over 65 – Trans.]. And a gold credit card, of course, since the individual concerned will be either a tax-dodger or a tax-dodger’s nominee.
Are there really that many brass necks up and down Italy? Sadly, there are. Otherwise pretending to be poor wouldn’t be one of our national sports. Glance at the short articles at the bottom of the news page in your paper. In one story, the financial police found a gentleman in Siena who had applied for the rent supplement available to zero earners: he had two houses and four flats (that’s right). On another occasion, all the officers had to do was look at the cars parked outside a social housing block to see that the occupants included the owners of a Porsche Carrera, a Jaguar and a Volkswagen Tuareg SUV. And that was in Padua, not Naples, where 59.9% of people squatting in IACP-owned social housing, and a stunning 78% of those in municipality-owned accommodation, declare no income at all.