Starting today, Italians can send in their income tax forms and choose their preferred organization to receive 8‰ (eight one-thousandths, in Italy commonly known as 8×1000) of their income tax return. The Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (Uaar), which has always fought for the abolition of this mechanism that drains public resources in favor of selected religious denominations, in the face of the usual lack of interest of the State for its share, invites taxpayers to express an informed choice by consulting the website www.occhiopermille.it.
“While we wait (probably still for quite some time) for the 8×1000 system to be dismantled, our association continues to play the role that the State should be playing: informing taxpayers about the mechanisms of the 8×1000 system and the organizations eligible for receiving it”, explains Roberto Grendene, Uaar secretary. “Again this year, despite various appeals by the Court of Auditors, the State has chosen not communicate to taxpayers the advantages of choosing the State to receive the 8×1000 rebate and to not to inform citizens directly regarding the underlying mechanisms which lead to the Catholic Church receiving 81% of the funds while only receiving 34% of tax payer preference. We consider this a deafening silence on the part of the government and our association has been speaking out for years through our Occhiopermille campaign, which as of today is present on all our communication channels”.
This year there is an important change in the 8×1000 system, namely the possibility of directly choosing one of the 5 specific uses for the tax rebate money allocated to the government: natural disasters, world hunger, refugees services and unaccompanied foreign minors, conservation of cultural heritage, public school building maintenance.
«Among the 5 government choices – continues Grendene – the one related to school building maintenance runs less risks of being diverted to religious organizations because law 222/1985 mandates the use of these funds exclusively to public properties without going through tenders which religious organizations could participate in. That said we continue to ask ourselves, why doesn’t the Department of Education not advertise this new possibility? What is Minister Azzolina waiting for to invite taxpayers to support the safety of public schools in our country? Is she going to join the government’s silence on the use it intends to make of the 8×1000 funds allocated to the State for natural disasters?”
“In light of the dramatic situation our country is in, the government’s silence is more serious than ever: why give up more than a billion euros? It is sad to note that the religious veil under which our government has always acted is not being lifted even at a time when our country is on its knees“.
More information on the campaign please visit: www.occhiopermille.it