Italy sees 34% growth in TV licence fee payers

Italy has seen a 34 per cent growth in TV licence fee payers, going up from 16.5 million in 2015 to 22.2 million in 2016.

There were a lot of people who did not pay in the islands, where new payments grew by almost 49.8 per cent compared to the previous year, going from 1.5 to 2.2 million.

Another region with a high number of evaders is Campania, where nearly half of the taxpayers did not pay the licence fee, with 736,000 new payers in 2016. But even in the northern regions, significant figures emerged, as new licence fee payers surpassed 900,000 units in Lombardy.

Meanwhile, in the autonomous province of Bolzano, where the rate of payments was already high, new payers rose by only 1 per cent, from 157,000 payers in 2015 to 159,000 in 2016.

The main reason for the reduction in the default of payments is due to the initiative of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi which saw the reduction of the TV licence fee from €113.50 to €100.

According to the Revenue Agency with the new system, in 2016, 5.6 million evaders came out, contributing to over €500 million in additional revenues.

The success of the initiative seems likely to further bring down the annual contribution for the TV licence fee, given the additional financing coming in for public broadcaster RAI. In the current year, the fee falls to €90, while it may fall again in 2018.

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