Dr Mike Evans

Netanyahu’s government releases plan to boost economy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich presented the plan regarding price increases in the economy.

The new effort includes a series of steps to reduce the increases in the prices of electricity, water, fuel and property taxes, and assist the economically disadvantaged in dealing with the cost-of-living, according to a news release from the prime minister’s office on Wednesday.

“Given that my government has put the cost-of-living, the fight against the cost-of-living, at the top of its priorities, we will not wait. This evening we are announcing a series of preliminary steps to fight the factors driving inflation: Electricity, water, fuel and property taxes,” Netanyahu stated.

“It is important for me to emphasize that these steps will immediately reduce the monthly expenditures of every family in Israel, and that these steps will also do something else – they will slow the pace of the price increases and will begin to turn things around,” he added.

Smotrich also spoke in the presentation to address high inflation and cost-living increases in the nation.

“As soon as I took up my position in the Finance Ministry, I have been dealing with the cost-of-living with utmost seriousness. I have been working day and night to formulate solutions. We have held a series of discussions in order to formulate a plan while keeping to the budgetary framework and without breaking the principles and rules and fueling inflation. This is an immediate, emergency plan, and in the framework of the state budget – with G-d’s help – we will formulate major steps and a series of deep reforms,” he said.

The main points of the plan included four aspects, the first dealing with electricity.

The presentation called for the excise tax on coal to be reduced. The Electricity Authority will be able to reduce the increase in electricity prices by approximately NIS 60 per annum per household (an almost 15% reduction in the price increase).

In the coming weeks, the government will be presented with additional steps to further reduce the price. The overall steps are expected to lead to a reduction of approximately NIS 240 per household which, together with assistance for the economically disadvantaged, will reduce the overall increase in the price of electricity per household by approximately 70%.

For small and mid-sized businesses, the planned steps will lead to the complete cancellation of the increase in the price of electricity.

The remaining aspects of the plan included cost reductions in water, assistance to the economically disadvantaged in dealing with the cost-of-living, a price freeze on the price of fuel, a freeze on the increase in property taxes, and other issues to help reduce the expenses for Israelis.