Netanyahu announces plan to negotiate with Israeli housing activists
Prime Minister to form committee to examine reductions in indirect taxes, while taking a series of additional steps to improve the standard of living among the country’s middle class.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday during a cabinet meeting the formation of a ministerial committee to negotiate with the thousands of activists who have protesting Israel's housing crisis for more than two weeks.
In addition, the committee will formulate solutions to the current economic troubles plaguing the government.
Among the possible solutions to be examined by the committee is the reducing of indirect taxes, while taking a series of additional steps to improve the standard of living among the country’s middle class. According to MK Ofir Akunis (Likud), the team will hold discussions for an extended period of time, and will not provide immediate solutions to the crisis that brought thousands of people out into the streets.
During the meeting, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom claimed that the state must change its agenda, and transfer funds from the security budget over to welfare and education. “It is unthinkable that the ministry of defense has asked to expand its budget four times”.
Likud sources said that the move would constitute a slap in the face to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and the rest of the finance ministry staff, and that the prime minister is making “professional decisions regarding the ministry’s staff”. Steinitz says he will support the prime minister's decision.
The announcement came in the wake of Finance ministry Director Generalf Haim Shani's Sunday over disagreements with Steinitz.