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The Transition 4.0 plan does not go into the attic: an immediate increase in the rates is being studied and then the structural revision of the plan

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The Transition 4.0 plan does not go into the attic: an immediate increase in the rates is being studied and then the structural revision of the plan
Written by aquitodovale

The absence in the budget bill of any reference to the Transition 4.0 plan, which from January will enter a new phase with rates more than halved compared to 2022, also recording the non-renewal of the tax credit for Training 4.0, raised a hornet’s nest of controversy and prompted the president of the industrialists Carlo Bonomi to express the “disappointment” of the business world before the Chambers.

To this it must be added that, given the focus of the maneuver on the management of inflation and energy emergencies and on the launch of the reforms resulting from electoral promises, there should be no room for interventions on the Transition 4.0 plan, not even in the necessarily rapid passage of the maneuver in Parliament.

However, over the past few days several signs have emerged that allow us to look to the near future with a certain optimism. Some are political signals, such as the meeting that took place on November 29 between Carlo Calenda, leader of Action and former Minister of Economic Development, as well as “political father” of the Industry 4.0 plan, and the current government led by Giorgia Meloni. One of the topics at the center of that meeting was the Transition 4.0 plan.

Another signal was also given on November 29 by the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy (the Mimit, ex Mise) Urso in the letter sent to the assembly of Anitec-Assinform: a letter in which the minister underlined the need for a profound revision of the Plan to implement the needs imposed by the changed economic context, focusing it more on the “immaterial aspects”. A review work that will begin in January and which will go through an “inclusive and listening working method”.

Towards an immediate rate hike

What’s happening behind the scenes? Is in progress an interlocution by the Government with the European Union to bring back into play a part of the resources of the PNRR assigned to the period ending in 2022 but not yet spent, as the minister himself admitted in an interview with Corriere della Sera of 3 December, where he explained that the plan needs to be refinanced and that in this regard “we have initiated discussions with the Commission to use the resources of the PNRR even after the deadline of 31 December”.

What does it mean? Remaining on Transition 4.0, the resources assigned to the plan – 13.38 billion from the RFF plus 5.08 from the complementary fund – were used to finance the maxi rates that were in force in the period 2021-2022 and, with the end of this year, end their effect (with the exception of deliveries of goods ordered before 2022 which are possible until June 2023). Once this phase is over, in January 2023 the plan should enter a new phase financed exclusively by the resources of the state budget, and this is the reason why the rates undergo a such a large cut.

The purpose of the dialogue conducted by Raffaele Fitto, the Minister for European Affairs, Cohesion Policies and the PNRR, is to obtain from the Commission the possibility of defer to 2023 the part of those resources (we are talking about just under 4 billion euros) which will be unexploited in the two-year period 2021-2022 due to the pandemic and the macroeconomic scenario.

These are talks initiated and carried forward with conviction by the Government, but the outcome of which is not obvious: in fact, European rules condition the disbursement of resources on the achievement of targets. But Italy intends to leverage precisely this: the target in terms of businesses reached should in fact be achieved (about 120,000 businesses); moreover, the extension of the time window for the use of resources would extend to 2023, thus remaining within the time frame covered by the PNRR.

Should the interlocution be successful, the result of this negotiation could lead – at least these are the Government’s intentions – to a reinstatement of the 2022 rates also for 2023 and the refinancing of the tax credit for the Training 4.0. All in the context of a provision that will be outside the budget law and which should arrive in the first months of 2023.

As far as Training 4.0 is concerned, the Government – provided that the resources are found – should proceed in the wake of the decree which provided for the increase in rates on the condition of making expenses with qualified providers (in fact never entered into force), finally giving you followed also for 2023.

There is – however it is worth emphasizing it once again – the possibility that the EU says no, emphasizing how the rules of the PNRR were clear from the outset and the resources allocated but not exploited cannot be recovered. In this case, Italy will hardly find other resources to finance a rate hike.

Transition 4.0 2022

Transition 4.0 2023 (TODAY)

Transition 4.0 2023 (AS COULD BE)

Material goods 4.0

  • 40% for investments up to 2.5 million
  • 20% for investments from 2.5 to 10 million
  • 10% for investments from 10 to 20 million
  • 20% for investments up to 2.5 million
  • 10% for investments from 2.5 to 10 million
  • 5% for investments from 10 to 20 million
  • 40% for investments up to 2.5 million
  • 20% for investments from 2.5 to 10 million
  • 10% for investments from 10 to 20 million
Intangible assets 4.0
Material assets and non-4.0 software
Training 4.0
  • 70% for small businesses
  • 50% for medium-sized companies
  • 30% for large companies

(provided you contact certain lenders – NB Rates that never entered into force due to lack of implementing provisions)

  • 70% for small businesses
  • 50% for medium-sized companies
  • 30% for large companies
Research, development, innovation and design
  • 20% for research and development activities
  • 10% for innovation, design and aesthetic conception activities
  • 15% for innovation activities with goals oriented towards an ecological transition or digital innovation 4.0 objective
  • 10% for research and development activities
  • 5% for innovation, design and aesthetic conception activities
  • 10% for innovation activities with goals oriented towards an ecological transition or digital innovation 4.0 objective
  • 20% for research and development activities
  • 10% for innovation, design and aesthetic conception activities
  • 15% for innovation activities with goals oriented towards an ecological transition or digital innovation 4.0 objective

The revision of the plan from 2024

In parallel, the Government will also proceed to one revision structure of the Plan, which however will become operational from 2024. Urso refers to this when he says that the Plan today “does not deviate too much from the 2017 approach, after more than 6 years it needs a profound revision to incorporate the needs imposed by the changed economic context”.

The hypotheses under study are different, all with a view to making money structural this incentive package. They range from those who, like Calenda himself, propose a return to super and hyper-depreciation, to those who instead want to review the lists of product categories included in annexes A and B, up to those who instead would like to expand the scope of the Transition Plan 4.0 to include incentives to support the green transition. There is also the idea of ​​linking higher rates to the achievement of certain employment objectives.

This will be discussed in various meetings which will see the business associations and other parties involved as protagonists, giving credit to the intentions of the minister to adopt a “shared path”.

However – we feel like anticipating – the expectations will have to take into account that if for the possible increase in the rates of 2023 we can hope for the crutch of the PNRR, from 2024 we will certainly have to deal only with our pockets and with the thousand other emergencies which, year after year, they capture the attention of Politics.

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