Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni said the recent economic crisis left 1.5 million Italian families “poor”, while research shows that around 8.3 million Italians were in conditions of “relative poverty”.

Since its introduction, the scheme has helped some 2 million Italians get back on their feet.

In addition to the scheme’s restructuring, the government also wants to raise entitlements for large families in economic difficulties, allowing €300 million more for next year on top of the €1.7 billion already designated to this cause.

This will enable an increase of €50 per month for families with more than five members, with the annual benefit rising from €480 - €490 to €530 - €540.