The pandemic has shown the contradictions of almost all welfare systems, as documented by an analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Orlando could precede, not go in tow, in proposing an urgent and important work that would characterize him as a true reformer not as one of the many passengers at Palazzo Balestra in Via Veneto 56. Giuseppe Pennisi’s analysis

If he does not get too distracted by the hardships and travails of the Democratic Party, the Minister of Labor and Social Policies, Andrea Orlando, would have a great opportunity at hand: to plan, and begin to implement, an organic reform of welfare. The pandemic has shown that Italy, like most of the other industrialized countries, urgently needs it. The Istat study on poverty confirms this.

At the beginning of the nineties of the last century, two researches born at the European University Institute of Fiesole, classified the welfare systems in the main industrialized countries in various ways. Gosta Esping-Andersen identified three models: a) market-oriented welfare in Anglo-Saxon countries where the state has a residual role in protecting the weakest; b) a welfare substantially based on the family in continental Europe in which the State has an integrative function with respect to the family unit; c) universal welfare seen as the main function of the state in Scandinavian countries. In parallel, a work by Maurizio Ferrera defined a taxonomy based on four typologies: a) a universalistic welfare inspired by Beveridge in Great Britain (at low levels of entitlements) and in Scandinavia (at high levels), b) a welfare “Particularistic” by social categories inspired by the Bismarck insurance system mainly in continental Europe; b) a “corporate” welfare typical of the Iberian Peninsula. Italy had a model of its own that Ferrera defined as “particularistic-clientelist” since, although based on a system of social insurance by category, extra-institutional relations influenced the transformation of entitlements into benefits, at least to affect the time element.

Since then, the various models have changed to a great extent by merging. In Italy, for example, two fundamental aspects of welfare – health and social security – have become essentially universalistic, even if the management of the first is entrusted to the Regions and autonomous Provinces and the second is centered on INPS (where different coexist ” regimes “) and half a dozen categorical institutes. Assistance is fragmented between an all too wide variety of forms, some highly centralized (such as “citizenship income”) and others very decentralized at the municipal level. Employment policies – which will play a central role when the pandemic comes out – are also fragmented, overlapping and inefficient. The “patronage” character, unfortunately, remains as shown almost every week by the prosecutors regarding the “citizenship income” and as suggested by journalistic inquiries about vaccinations.

The pandemic has shown the contradictions of almost all welfare systems, as documented by an analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit. In forums such as the OECD, a reorganization will have to be promoted. Orlando could precede, not go in tow, also because of our finance and public debt, not to mention our demographic structure, Italy’s problems in ensuring adequate and sustainable welfare are more serious than those of most of the other industrialized countries with high middle income.

A welfare model should be defined, in agreement with the Regions and the Autonomous Provinces, and in the light of the agreed model, the rules and institutes should be reviewed by preparing a “single text”, or similar instrument, for the matter. An urgent and important job that would characterize him as a true reformer not as one of the many passengers at Palazzo Balestra in Via Veneto 56.

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