Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon said today that he believed that the program he presented yesterday for reducing the cost of living would be passed with no changes. Kahlon and his ministry did not consult about the plan with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who learned about it from the press conference and media reports.
"I'm unaware of any anger. There can be no anger when such great help is being given to families with children," Kahlon said at a ceremony inaugurating a new wing in the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. "I have no doubt that the plan will pass as is. The afternoon daycare facilities will pass; this is a social matter with moral value for the benefit of the middle class. I have no doubt.
"The problem was in the middle class, and it has been solved," Kahlon added. "In the next few hours, I'll sign orders cutting taxes on children's clothing and cellular devices."
Ministry of Finance director general Shai Babad today told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), "The plan is aimed at putting more money into the pockets of economically disadvantaged and middle class families." Babad rejected arguments by the interviewer, Nir Raskin, who said that Kahlon had devised the plan because elections were in the offing, and that he was aiming it at the cost of living because he had failed in dealing with housing. Babad said, "There is no failure in housing. This isn't an area that you can measure in 18-24 months. Housing has to be measured over four years."
Addressing allegations that Netanyahu himself had not been informed, Babad declared, "The public doesn't care whether the prime minister was or wasn't informed in time. What the public is interested in is what it receives, what it pays, and what profit it gets. You're looking for an argument about who gets the credit, but that's not what's important today. What's important is the plan itself and what it entails - lowering the cost of living and narrowing economic gaps."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on April 19, 2017
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