Tens of millions of Italians have signed up for a govt scheme presenting a 10pc refund for card payments in stores in just two weeks in an try by Rome to reduce tax evasion and raise vendors hit by coronavirus limits.

The roaring start to the scheme, which requires downloading an application adopted by a lengthy registration course of action, will come in stark contrast to Italians’ lukewarm reaction to the less difficult Immuni application released in June to trace Covid bacterial infections.

The so-known as “cashback” program will officially kick off next month but the pilot programme from Dec 8 to the end of the end, which makes it possible for financial savings of up to €150, has presently captivated a tenth of the grownup population.

“In excess of 5m subscriptions is no little feat,” explained Leonzio Rizzo, a professor of community finance at the College of Ferrara, told Reuters.

Key Minister Giuseppe Conte’s govt thinks that weaning Italians off hard cash can reduce rampant tax evasion, estimated by the Treasury at about €110bn a year.

Digital payments, as opposed to notes and coins, are more challenging to hide from the taxman.

Nevertheless the programme has its critics, including the European Central Lender, which explained final 7 days that governments should really get a neutral approach to suggests of payments and complained it had not been consulted.