Limits on the use of cash in Italy
Priority question for written answer P-000369/2020
to the Commission
Antonio Maria Rinaldi (ID)
Law No 157/2019 imposes new limits on cash payments in Italy.
From 1 July 2020, the limit will be EUR 2 000, and from 1 January 2022, EUR 1 000. On 16 December 2019, the European Central Bank wrote a letter to Minister Gualtieri pointing out certain problems that could arise from the application of these limits.
The document observes that cash payment is a tool for the inclusion of the entire population in the economic system and that this change could result in social inequality. Moreover, cash payments do not require technical infrastructure which would force small businesses – crucial to the Italian economy – to incur expenditure.
It has also been pointed out that the government should have checked how the costs of alternative means of payment compare with those of using cash and whether tax evasion can be countered in alternative ways that would have less adverse impact. Also relevant to this is Directive (EU) 2015/849 on specific checks in the case of payments of at least EUR 10 000.
In the light of the above, I should like to put the following questions to the Commission:
Does the Commission take a similar line on this to the ECB?
What does it intend to do to prevent the risks highlighted by the ECB?