Netanyahu Calls for Treasury to Cut Taxes and State Budget

Opposition leader, Likud head says he supports BoI Governor Fischer's moves to strengthen dollar.

Opposition leader and Likud head Benjamin Netanyahu called for a sharp drop in taxes Thursday, the renewal of privatization reforms and a more modest budget.

"The government is passive and we must be active in order to return to a yearly economic growth of 5-6%. The government is accepting the drop in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a fact," Netanyahu said at a press conference at the Knesset.

Besides his suggestion to drop taxes, Netanyahu called for the privatization of electricity and water as well as the deregulation of the real estate opportunities.

"Israel can continue to grow even during a global recession, if the correct steps are taken. We have an opportunity to improve competition," Netanyahu said.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu presented Bank of Israel Governor Fischer his reforms. He added that he agreed with Fischer's decision to cut interest rates and purchase dollars

Treasury officials said Wednesday that Netanyahu's call for a modest state budget conflicts with his support of a new bill in which Israel Defense Forces soldiers would receive minimum wage. The cost of the new bill would be NIS 4.5 billion.