For every 100 earned by Italian workers, their employers pay 45 in social security contributions, according to figures published by Confindustria, the Italian employers association. With workers forking out a further 13 themselves, Italy has one of the most punishing social security bills among the worlds top industrialised countries, with only levels in France surpassing them. By comparison, firms in Germany and Holland contribute less to the welfare state but their workers make much higher social security payments (36 and 39 per 100 respectively). Social security costs are lower for businesses and individuals in countries like Britain (13, 11) and Ireland (13, 6) where the welfare state has been greatly reduced in recent years. Confindustria estimates that for every 1,000 earned by the average Italian worker, the government nets 980 in taxes, comprising an employment tax (250), regional taxes (78), social security paid by employers (450) and employees (130) social security contributions.