Italian publishers urge authorities to support purchase of school textbooks


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Italian Publishers Association (AIE) and Italian Booksellers Association — Confcommercio (ALI) urge to increase state financial support for purchase of school textbooks for families in difficult financial situations.


Publishers are asking for a tax discount based on the model of an identical discount for medical and sports expenses.


“Access to education is a primary constitutional right and an essential condition for the development of Italy. Unfortunately, for many children under age this right might only be on paper,” Ricardo Franco Levi, president of Italian Publishers Association and Paolo Ambrosini, president of Italian Booksellers Association, underlined.


According to the data collected in 2022, 1.9 million of families in Italy are in a state of absolute poverty, while 2.9 million of families are in a state of relative poverty. Statistic research shows these are mostly families with school-age children whose parents have difficulty purchasing textbooks for school.


“Right now the state provides 133 million EURO annually to finance the purchase of textbooks for these families, but due to both lack of information and delivery methods, these funds are underutilized and reach families with a long delay. Both associations are asking for the fund to be increased to at least 170 million to cover the full range of low-income families and optimize delivery methods,” is noted in a letter to Giorgia Meloni, Italian Prime Minister. 


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Presidents of associations state that the changes to the budget law for families that are in a state of absolute poverty will solve many other problems with school textbooks, including the issue concerning books’ price limit which was suspended in 2012 — and prices (according to data by ISTAT) increased by 20 percent.


The AIE and ALI-Confcommercio Associations bid for families to be given the opportunity to deduct tax on the cost of school textbooks, as it is done in the field of healthcare and amateur sports activities.


It was reported earlier that Italy will adopt a copyright law for protection against copyright infringement.



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