Trajtenberg committee - Tomer Appelbaum - 08092011
The Trajtenberg committee meets: From the right, Avi Simhon, Tali Regev, Eyal Gabai, Manuel Trajtenberg, Itzik Shmuli, Rabiaa Basis, and Pnina Klein. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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The Trajtenberg Committee on socioeconomic change, which is to submit its recommendations on Monday, is already drawing fire for proposals it is expected to make. According to media reports, the committee will recommend slashing the defense budget by as much as NIS 3 billion and slightly increasing corporate tax rates.

Since the committee's establishment in the wake of last summer's social protest, activists have expressed concern over the outcome of the committee's work because of its declared intent not to break the budgetary framework.

According to media reports, the committee will advise that funding made available by slashing defense spending and increasing tax rates be used, among other purposes, to fund free education for tots from age 3 and a long school day.

The heads of the shadow socioeconomic committee advising the protesters, professors Yossi Yona and Avia Spivak, said the reports underscored their concern that the committee was intended to "mislead."

MK Shelly Yachimovich, the chairwoman-elect of the Labor Party, said the recommendations expected to emerge were a recycling of existing proposals, giving as an example: "Free education from age 3 was a law made a long time ago and has been frozen repeatedly by the Economics Arrangements Law by Netanyahu himself."

Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini hinted that a strike could result if the recommendations were found wanting in the areas of housing, treatment of the poor, pensioners and other issues.

The women's organizations Na'amat, WIZO and Emunah, which run public daycare centers, said the recommendations did not provide a solution for more than 200,000 toddlers who are not in public daycare.

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon and Israel Manufacturers' Association head Shraga Brosh criticized the purported recommendation to lift duties from thousands of imported foods and products.

The reports also drew fire from Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who said "expectations should be lowered" regarding the recommendations.