Our country never ceases to amaze, really. Yesterday’s papers reported that a ministerial decree is setting up an extra 25% tax (retroactive on 2008 earnings) on profits from all “literary, theatrical and cinema works […] featuring images or scenes containing explicit and not simulated sexual acts between consenting adults.”
This starts out weirdly enough with the inclusion of literary works: if you are a comic artist writing a graphic novel, or a writer, are your characters capable of real intercourse, or are they just having simulated sexual acts?
Then there is the “consenting adults” clause: go figure the exception for depictions of rape (any educational purpose?), sex between minors, sex between adults and minors. I guess all these things have not been deemed worthy of an additional 25% tax.
And who decides whether a given sexual act is simulated or real? Details will be unveiled in a forthcoming decree by our Prime Minister, but it seems that our Minister of Culture, Sandro Bondi (picture), will get to define explicitly what works will be subject to the extra tax and what works are merely “simulating”. One wonders, with the state our cultural heritage is in, does this government department really have nothing better to do?
This “sin tax” is not a new idea; sources report that it had already been proposed a few years ago, as a tax on works containing pornography or promoting violence (of any kind, not just the sexual one). The “promoting violence” piece has been dropped; I guess sex is considered a luxury good, but you can still get a good deal on violence.