Tax Breaks First: PM Wanted Citizens to Feel Change

Benjamin Netanyahu pushed the government to approve the portions of the Trajtenberg recommendations related to taxes and prices first, so that citizens would feel the report's results, said associates of the prime minister.

Today, the government is slated to vote on measures designed to introduce competition to the Israeli economy, thus reducing prices to consumers.

Netanyahu and Trajtenberg - Government Press Office - September 2011
Government Press Office

These measures were proposed by the committee headed by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, which was appointed by Netanyahu to propose a plan for social and economic change in the wake of this summer's cost-of-living protests.

The proposals up for a vote today were drafted by the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office, in conjunction with other ministries, and are based on the Trajtenberg recommendations.

They include limiting import restrictions, making government regulation more efficient, increasing antitrust oversight, creating government supervision over the cost of production of price-controlled goods, further developing the country's ports, limiting the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few, and increasing competition in the fields of public transportation, cooking gas and gas stations.

The ministers approved the Trajtenberg Report's recommendations regarding taxation several weeks ago.

Netanyahu and his associates are expected to try to push through the remainder of the Trajtenberg recommendations in the cabinet over the next few weeks.

Portions of the Trajtenberg Report that can be implemented without legislation, including some taxation changes, are expected to take effect at the beginning of 2012.

The prime minister and his associates hope to have other portions that do require legislative changes approved by March 2012 so that implementation can begin the following month.