Rome, October 18 - Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Tuesday the government's tax breaks are permanent, and not handouts to the electorate. "We're cutting taxes in a permanent way, and voters will make their choice independently," he told La7 private TV in an interview airing tonight. Handouts are single occurrences, while the government is pursuing a long-term policy of lowering the tax pressure, he added. Padoan also said a voluntary disclosure program to encourage those with hidden capital to come forward and pay their taxes will not allow criminals to go unpunished. "If the money is the fruit of illicit activities from the penal point of view, this gentleman will not be able to join the voluntary disclosure program but will go to prison," Padoan said. The minister added that interests on late tax payments and sanctions must be eliminated, because "that's what makes the idea of paying back taxes so distressing and such a burden" to many citizens.
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