A bonus of up to 20 thousand euros divided into five annual installments, to be paid through the deductions of expenses incurred and documented in the tax return, for those who decide to contract religious marriage and therefore to get married in church. This is foreseen in a bill presented by the deputies of the Lega Domenico Furgiuele (deputy group leader), Simone Billi, Ingrid Bisa (secretary of the Committee for Authorizations), Alberto Gusmeroli (president of the Productive Activities commission) and Erik Pretto. The aim is to counteract the “vertical decline especially in marriages celebrated with a religious rite, which is more than double that of civil marriages (-67.9 per cent against -28.9 per cent)” recorded between 2019 and 2020, especially among the youngest, caused by the “containment measures of the health emergency”. More specifically, the authors of the initiative underline, “about 179,000 weddings were celebrated in Italy in 2021: compared to 2020, this is a doubling, even if this increase was not sufficient to recover what was lost in the previous year, in fact compared to 2019, marriages are 2.7 percent lower”. A decline which, as mentioned, penalizes religious marriages in particular. “The reasons that keep young couples away from the altar and that lead them to consider civil marriage only and exclusively – the Northern League representatives still explain – are many and of a different nature. First of all, civil marriage is in itself a less onerous celebration than religious marriage. Many couples are also doubtful about premarital courses, which have a very specific and often underestimated purpose: to try to make the couple understand if they are really ready to make the decision to get married”.
Hence the proposal of the Northern League deputies to “introduce the so-called ‘marriage bonus’, aimed at facilitating young couples who intend to celebrate a religious marriage and who will have the opportunity to take advantage of the 20 percent deduction of expenses connected with the celebration of a religious marriage such as: ornaments in the Church, including decorative flowers, runners and booklets; the clothes for the bride and groom, the catering service, the favours, the coiffeur and make-up service and, lastly, the photo shoot”. Recipients of the subsidy are couples under 35, with Italian citizenship for at least 10 years, and with an equivalent economic situation indicator not exceeding 23,000 euros and 11,500 euros per person. The deductible expenses related to the celebration of a religious marriage, which must be incurred in Italy, are set at a maximum of 20,000 euros and are divided among those entitled in five equal annual installments.
Cost of the initiative? “Considering the number of marriages in 2021, which amount to approximately 179,000, it is expected – the proponents explain – that the maximum deductible amount per couple will be equal to 20 percent of 20,000 euros, i.e. 4,000 euros to be divided into five constant installments”. Therefore “the expected expenditure for the wedding bonus will be approximately 716,000,000 euros, i.e. 143,200,000 euros for five installments”. But the costs could be lower “considering the drop in marriages in our country and the requisites required to take advantage of the bonus”.
“Beyond the probable unconstitutionality, it is confirmed that Salvini’s League is literally out of control”. Carlo Calenda writes it on Twitter, commenting on the bill presented by some deputies of the League which provides for a tax bonus for those who decide to get married in church.