The disconnect between social reality and the government on the way out increased, while the income gap kept widening. The population was divided into five slices. Istat says that between 2009 and 2014, the income expressed in real terms declined more for those families in the poorest 20 percent, and the gap with the wealthiest families increased from 4.6 to 4.9 times that of the poorest. The Gini index, the indicator that measures income inequality, has registered a value of 0.324. The E.U. average is 0.310. Italy is in the 16th position with the United Kingdom. The only ones worse off are Portugal, Greece and Spain. The Gini index is higher in the South and the Islands (0.334) than in the central regions (0.311) and North (0.293).
The referendum rejection was also explained by social and economic reasons. In this analysis, we can add the data on material deprivation. According to Istat, deprivation remained “stable” between 2014 and 2015 (11.6 percent and 11.5 percent respectively). The percentage of families who could not afford a week’s holiday away from home decreased (from 49.5 percent to 47.3 percent), as well as those who could not afford a proper meal (ie with animal or vegetarian protein) at least every two days (from 12.6 percent to 11.8 percent).
But the proportion of families who could not afford an unexpected expense of € 800 increased (from 38.8 percent to 39.9 percent) like those who have difficulties in paying the mortgage, rent, bills or other debts (from 14.3 percent to 14.9 percent). Presumably, the €80 income tax bonus (10 billion per year) helped with this, and have offset the loss of income and wages incurred during the crisis years by the 17,985 families (42,987 individuals) taken from the analysis. But only for those with employment, ie a “fixed” contract making between €8 and 26 thousand euro. It did not help independent workers, unemployed, and pensioners. Very few took the time to dwell in this little detail in these two years.
The government that pledged to “innovate” the country, has actually confirmed a traditional Italian discrimination between those who have a permanent job and subcontractors. The former got the €80, but the latter did not. The crisis has hit hard on the self-employed. Istat also reported a sharp fall of subcontractor compensation that on average has fallen by about 28 percent in real terms since 2009, compared with a reduction of about 8 percent of labor compensation and 7 percent of income from pensions and government transfers, while investment income declined by about 4 percent.