Do Italian men make good husbands?

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I’m all for close family ties. But there comes a time when a boy has to cut himself free from his mother’s apron strings.

In Italy, that time seems to have been considerably prolonged as more than a third of Italian men over the age of 30 live at home with their parents; this is blamed on sky-high apartment rents and bleak job prospects as much as a liking for mamma’s cooking.

The Italian government’s response is to offer them a cash incentive to leave their feathered nest and cut themselves free. Italy’s economy minister has sparked uproar by offering "big babies" a tax break if they let go of their mother’s apron strings and leave home. Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa has offered a 1,000 euro tax break for 20- and 30-something Italians who rent instead.

As someone who is married to an only child who would have been eligible to apply for the Italian tax incentive, I think it is a wonderful idea. My husband cannot boil an egg, and has no inclination to. We were old fashioned and didn’t live together until we married, so I had no idea about this.

My philosophy about parenthood is that I must bring up my two sons so they are able to stand on their own two feet, which includes being financially independent. And yes, they love my cooking too.

I wonder what kind of husbands these pampered "big babies" will be. Could this also be happening in the UK too with our sky high property prices?

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