18. Financial stress
Keeping a budget is always a challenge in any building project. I have made some decisions on materials that have made the project a little more expensive, but that have improved the quality of the build. However, current conditions in the world have been pushing some of the prices up and therefore making it difficult for many. My own situation is better than many others, but finishes are costly.
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My own stress comes not so much from rising prices, but from political stupidity, causing insecurity for many involved in the building industry. The building bonuses have been around for many years in Italy, as I have explained earlier. However, the Italian government tried to fix some issues to ensure that there would be no or at least as little fraud as possible. The intention was good, but the execution was most definitely flawed. The superbonus has indeed caused a building boom. Nothing of this level of activity has been seen for years. However, with above mentioned changes, the government managed to block the one essential element of the system, the trading of tax credits. Many companies have been accepting these credits, which are given for doing renovation with environmental improvements and or seismic security, as payment. They of course have had agreements with the banks or expected to reach agreement to be able to cash in these credits to receive payment. That all stopped with the changes made. Not because fraud had been widespread and that the companies had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, but because of some political stupidity when choosing the wording of the law.
One has to be aware that Italians are very sceptical at the best of times with regards to government and when they are told one thing and then another, that scepticism takes overhand until all sorts of securities are in place. The banks have been simply refusing to accept new contracts for these credits. Many companies are on the brink of bankruptcy and therefore the risk of a total collapse of an industry. The attempts to fix the mistakes made, have been poor and the banks are still sitting on their hands.
I have been working with the bonuses and want to sell them directly to the bank to finish. Patience is a virtue, but right now my patience is wearing thin. We have done everything correctly and financed everything until now, but now we need a payment or two. Unfortunately, I have had to stop the work. This will lead to all sorts of problems for our contractors and may well mean some of the workers being temporarily laid off. We have a contract with the bank, but means nothing if the practice doesn’t get approved. We are waiting for a second time for the approval as it was deemed to be presented wrong after a request from the bank. There is a lot of frustration now and I don’t mind saying that I am loosing sleep about the whole thing.
Italy being Italy and Italian politics being Italian politics means that there has been a new election. The collapse of the government seems to be just as regular as Christmas. Of course, no one really knows how things will look in a month or two with regards to the trade. Like I said, patience is needed. Unfortunately, I am not sure I have the time to be so patient. Stopping the work was something I really did not want to do. Getting people back on board again will not be straight forward. I fully understand them. All the planning that goes into the work is now thrown to the wind. I feel I have let good people down. I hope they understand that I am doing everything within my power to get things moving again and a meeting in Italy in the beginning of October is already set up with the bank, the accountant, project manager and myself. I really hope we can find a solution.
However, there are events around us that make you realise that my problems are worrying on a personal level, but nothing in the larger picture. One such event struck the region in Italy a couple of weeks ago. So aptly called “un bombe dell’acqua” or water bomb struck, releasing six months of precipitation in only a few hours. The resulting floods have left people both homeless and mourning the dead who got washed away by the torrent. It will be strange to see the damage and talk to some of those who have been affected. I know the area will bounce back as it always does. The Marchigiani are made of sturdy stuff!
Don't just leave it as a dream. Just remember, dreams do come true, but seldom without a little proaction.
Stay safe everybody and best wishes to you all!
I hope you are enjoying the posts. Tell me what you like and/or dislike about them. I know a lot of you are Norwegian (my home), is there anything I can explain better or needs translating? Do any of you dream of a place in Italy? Can I help you begin to realise your dream?