It was all bark, no bite when a parliamentary commission in Italy proposed to help cut the massive debt by taxing people’s pets.
When the idea for a tax on “animals of affection” was announced, the Italian news media went into red alert, with one news agency running 40 items on it in just four hours.
Animal protection groups said it would prompt more people to abandon their dogs and cats, and politicians who didn’t want to be associated with it called it “grotesque”, “surreal”, “idiotic”, “shameful” and more.
“The only thing that’s left to tax are wives and children,” said parliamentarian Domenico Scilipoti.
By the end of the day, the proposal had been withdrawn.
Like Greece, Spain and other European countries, Italy is wrestling with a savage debt crisis, which has lawmakers trying to dream up new ways to raise taxes.