The lower house of the Italian Parliament has included the shoe and leather industries among the sectors that can deduct the cost of designing and producing samples. The bill now has to be approved by the Senate.

The draft legislation was presented by the government after it held talks with the trade association Sistema Moda Italia, representing the textile industry. Initially the tax relief was limited to textiles and clothing, but comprised the upper part of canvas shoes. The tax relief, which if fully used represents overall aid of €70 million, will only cover expenses sustained in 2010.

Vito Artioli, president of the Italian shoe makers association, Anci, expressed satisfaction at the decision and asked that in the future any aid granted to the textile industry should be extended to footwear as well.