« We are probably experiencing the greatest disaster the country has faced since the war. Public health and the national health system itself are at stake. For this reason, our association has decided to promote a fundraising campaign for healthcare, in particular for a public hospital in the frontline at this moment, the National Institute for Infectious Diseases « Lazzaro Spallanzani » in Rome : UAAR is providing the first 10 thousand euros, we hope many citizens will contribute. »
The Secretary of the Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics (UAAR), Roberto Grendene, announces the launch of the fundraising campaign through the channels of the association and takes the opportunity to also resend a request to the government.
« In order to allow all citizens to do even more and without further disbursements, we ask the institutions to revise the 8×1000 mechanism (1) according to three action points: firstly, to divert the 8×1000 of the State’s jurisdiction to the national health system in the next income declaration ; secondly, to amend the law regulating the 8×1000 mechanism so that the unspoken choices remain within the State’s jurisdiction, thus releasing additional funds; and finally – in the long run -, to rethink the entire system, which benefits selected religious and confessional groups by subtracting large and increasingly necessary public resources.»
« We think there is no better time to review the priorities of the national system and that what is happening has undeniably shown that healthcare and scientific research must be at the top of the political agenda. The first of our suggestions would allow the government, which is looking for funds to invest in the protection of public health, to request the support of taxpayers with a simple signature. The second – which implies an amendment to Law 222/1985 regulating the 8×1000 mechanism so that unspoken choices remain within the State’s jurisdiction – would immediately release more than half a billion euros per year without touching the pockets of the citizens. Thirdly and finally, regarding the rethinking of the whole system, the issue relies on the assumption that the institution of the 8×1000 has no reason to exist in an increasingly secularised country, a country that officially calls itself secular and that is going through a very difficult situation above all. And not as of today: how many problems could be solved with more than a billion euros more per year in the field of natural disasters, construction of school infrastructure, welfare etc.? Once again – concludes Grendene – we ask the government to put the interests of citizens before the protection of established privileges, in line, moreover, with the recommendations of the Court of Auditors’ reports on the management and allocation of the 8×1000. »
To join the fundraising campaign launched by Uaar, you can make a transfer or a donation via PayPal or credit card at the following link: uaar.it/coronavirus
(1) Eight per thousand. Eight per thousand (Italian: otto per mille) is an Italian law under which Italian taxpayers devolve a compulsory 8 ‰ = 0.8% (eight per thousand) from their annual income tax return to an organised religion recognised by Italy or, alternatively, to a social assistance scheme run by the Italian State.