Upcoming political developments
Measures to combat the health emergency caused by COVID-19, including the complete interruption of production activities, immediately produced a high demand for social protection. In order to support the most disadvantaged sections of the population, art. 82 of the Revival Decree (Law 34 of 19 May 2020) therefore established the Emergency Income (REM), an extraordinary support, lasting two months, aimed at households in a state of economic need due to the emergency, which did not have access to the support provided for this purpose by the Decree Cura Italia (law No. 18 of 17 March 2020)) for certain categories. The application must be submitted by 31 July 2020.
In addition, the health crisis has highlighted even more the critical issues in the composition of welfare expenditure, which is very unbalanced in Italy in favour of cash social benefits to the detriment of those provided through services and interventions. For this reason, the resources of the Social Funds have been increased to strengthen innovative territorial interventions, able to promote the support of the birth rate and the family among the non-self-sufficiency and disability sectors of the population.
Lgs D. 96/2019 amended Lgs. D. 66/2017 "Rules for the Promotion of School Inclusion of Students with Disabilities" (par. 4.6) introducing important news:
The allocation of support hours will be decided in consultation with families;
grants, tools and methodologies of study will no longer be developed in a "standard" way, according to the type of disability, but with an individualized curriculum that will look at the characteristics of the individual student;
the composition of medical commissions is varied in relation to the different functions it oversees;
New inclusion groups are introduced, such as the Operational Working Group for Inclusion (GLIR) and the Territorial Inclusion Groups (GIT).
More than a year after the introduction of the Citizenship Income, the debate over any corrections to the measure has been quite intense. In particular, two aspects are highlighted as worthy of revision: on the one hand, the stringent requirements in terms of duration and continuity of residence, which have led to a significant selectivity with respect to access to the measure by foreign nationals; on the other hand, the coefficients linked to family composition, which disadvantage families with minors compared to the equivalent scales normally adopted. Several research and monitoring activities are under way on the RdC, including: an Inapp project dedicated to assessing the programme’s theory and other programmatic aspects of the national minimum income schemes, in consultation with the three levels of governance involved (SSC, CPI and Plan Offices) as well as impact assessment on work activation, material deprivation and perceptions of the well-being of the beneficiaries; a Project of Relevant National Interest coordinated by the University of Trento entitled Contrasting Poverty through Inclusive Governance (CoPInG), focused on the process of implementing the national minimum income scheme with a perspective on multilevel governance, with particular attention to the meso and micro level, aimed at involving both operators and beneficiaries.
Given that Lgs D. 96/2019 came into force to coincide with the start of the 2019-20 school year, the new measures will be implemented during the 2020-21 school year once the implementation agreements necessary for the definition of, among others, accessibility and physical usability, perceptual and communicative sense of the spaces and tools of educational institutions, are adopted at the Unified Conference between the State, Regions and Local Autonomies.
Of note, within the debate, the evolution of the proposal for a Universal Inheritance Allowance at the age of 18 - originally launched by A. Atkinson and for Italy taken up by the Inequality and Diversity Forum in 2018, with a quantification in 15,000. On 11 June 2020, the Council of Ministers, on the proposal of the Minister for Equal Opportunity and Family and Minister of Labour and Social Policies, approved the so-called "Family Act", the proxy bill on policies for families, particularly in support of families with children ("Delegations to the Government for the adoption of universal allowance and the introduction of measures to support the family"). It envisages the establishment of a universal single allowance for all underage children, replacing the various transfers and tax breaks that exist today for socio-educational and leisure expenses, as well as the reordering of parental and paternity leave and support for family-work reconciliation measures with a view to gender equality.
Finally, it should also be highlighted, for the possible impact on the future (re)design of policies, the recent institution (December 2019) of the Alliance for Children,a national network of organisations and associations engaged in different ways in the promotion and protection of the rights of children and young people and their parents, who share the responsibility and urgency to raise awareness and pressure on policymakers to implement the necessary reforms and initiatives, and to urge and support local businesses and communities to build environments more conducive to children, youths and their parents.