Activists from Metulla
Activists from Metulla reached Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard on Wednesday Oct. 5, 2011, where the first protest tent had been set up - and where they vow to launch a new round of the tents protest. Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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The differences between the Trajtenberg Report, issued at the behest of the government, and the report issued by experts aiding the protest movement aren't in the principles but in the details, the protesters' experts say. Nevertheless, the details matter: The Trajtenberg Report, they claim, won't change government policy materially.

The reports agree on the main goals,and on ways of achieving those goals. But the devil's in the details: They part ways on public spending, the labor market and the need to democratize decision-making.

Both agree on the need to increase social equality and public involvement in the socioeconomic discourse. Both also agree on three ways to do that: spend more on social services, reform the labor market and lower the cost of living.

The protesters' experts say the government's civilian expenditure has contracted by 5% of GDP; hence the protest. They suggest restoring half of that, paid for by tax hikes. The Trajtenberg Report rejects increased government spending. It suggests expanding public services by cutting defense and other spending, and would increase public spending by only half the amount the protesters demand.

Also, while Trajtenberg placed a focus on education (free day care ), the protesters are more interested in healthcare, housing and welfare.

The Trajtenberg committee, headed by former national economic adviser Manuel Trajtenberg, was set up by the government to study the protesters' demands. The protesters had their own committee, headed by Avia Spivak.