Ordinary people won't like it but the fact is the national debt must be lowered because all debt has to be repaid and if you borrow to much and don't repay it then you get into real trouble like Greece and to try and bring that debt down you don't just rise VAT by 1% you make alot of very very painful deep cuts that will really hurt people. Raising income tax is no good for two reasons. The first is your only going to earn big money from the top earners and they are the minority. Also the top rate of income tax is already 48% and there is not much you can justifiably increase that by. Remember the top earners are the ones who can leave the country or invest their money abroad tax free if they feel they are being overtaxed, if top earners own businesses then they will lay people off to save money so they have the capability to do things to counter tax increases if they feel its to high whilst the low - middle level earners do not. If the government wants to bring in a substantial amount of money to pay the debt then VAT increase is the best way to do it. The soldiers might not like a cigarette price increase but putting up duty on them and alcohol is hardly the end of the world and the government are making cutbacks of their own by cutting the budget of all ministries. This isn't about social justice as the left will sell it as it is about balancing the books and social justice is not a licence to print money. It may well cost Bibi the election but its good economics not stealing from the poor to give to the rich as I imagine Daphne Leef will try and have us believe it is. Remember all these things the government has invested in over the past year are things the public wanted. They wanted the sinai fence to try and keep out infiltraitors, they wanted the government to build a detention centre to keep them, they wanted fire fighting capability, they wanted Iron Dome so Bibi has been spending money on things people wanted and just because we want more doesn't mean we can deliver right now because of funding.
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from the article: Finance minister raises cigarette taxes in first round of austerity plan