Budget Assailed for Favoring the Rich

YERUSHALAYIM -

A new poll shows that 67% of the Israeli public believes the 2013-2014 state budget mainly serves the interests of the rich, Globes reported on Wednesday.

Two-thirds of the respondents to the poll conducted by Molad (The Center for Renewal of Israeli Democracy) said that the budget was unfair, benefiting the upper income brackets while harming most Israelis, who are struggling financially.

Only 23% of respondents were willing to describe it as “a responsible budget.”

The poll represented another vote of no-confidence in Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who came into office in January claiming to be a champion of the middle class. Since then, his austerity measures — including cuts to child allotments, increased VAT, higher water and electricity prices and cancellation of benefits to the periphery — have badly hurt the middle class and the poor.

Not only does a majority of the public believe that Lapid has not kept his promises, more than half do not believe that he represents them, according to the Molad findings.

Molad describes itself as an apolitical organization, though it provides materials for policy making for the Israeli center-left. It is financed mainly by private U.S. foundations, such as the Tauber Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Moriah Fund.