Italy is preparing a new package of measures worth at least 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to help businesses and families cope with costly energy bills and plans to unveil it next week, two government sources told Reuters on Thursday.
The right-wing administration led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni earmarked over 21 billion euros in its 2023 budget to soften the impact of energy costs on the euro zone's third largest economy in the first quarter of this year.
Rome now wants to extend and review these measures in a decree expected to be approved by the cabinet on March 28, the sources said, asking not to be named.
The Treasury plans to fund the decree through savings stemming from the previous 21 billion euro package so as not to weigh on the public deficit, one of the sources said.
Italy last November set a budget deficit goal of 4.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), down from 8% reported in 2022.
The Treasury is due to update in April its growth forecasts and public finance targets in the Economic and Financial Document (DEF).
Last month a Treasury official told Reuters Italy expected that a recent European Union agency Eurostat's ruling on the treatment of tax credits to have a small negative impact on its 2023 deficit. ($1 = 0.9170 euros) (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte Editing by Keith Weir)