The new financial measures for 2005, which are expected to pass throught the Italian houses of parliament before the end of the year, will bring income tax cuts to around 40 per cent of the tax-paying population. However a group of organisations which defends consumer rights has announced that every Italian family will find itself paying an overall increase of as much as 270 next year on services such as telephones, electricity, water and gas, local taxes, bank charges and motorway tolls. The consumer rights group is accusing the government of giving with one hand and taking away with the other and placing new burdens on families who have already suffered three years of increasing prices and taxes, many of whom are now borrowing money to maintain their lifestyle.