Tens of millions of Italians have signed up for a government plan providing a 10pc refund for card payments in outlets in just two weeks in an try by Rome to slice tax evasion and enhance stores strike by coronavirus limits.

The roaring start off to the plan, which demands downloading an application followed by a prolonged registration system, arrives in stark contrast to Italians’ lukewarm response to the more simple Immuni application launched in June to trace Covid bacterial infections.

The so-named “cashback” program will officially kick off up coming thirty day period but the pilot programme from Dec 8 to the conclude of the conclude, which will allow savings of up to €150, has previously captivated a tenth of the adult populace.

“In excess of 5m subscriptions is no small feat,” said Leonzio Rizzo, a professor of public finance at the University of Ferrara, advised Reuters.

Key Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government believes that weaning Italians off income can lessen rampant tax evasion, estimated by the Treasury at about €110bn a year.

Electronic payments, contrary to notes and coins, are more difficult to disguise from the taxman.

On the other hand the programme has its critics, like the European Central Bank, which said past 7 days that governments should just take a neutral approach to suggests of payments and complained it had not been consulted.