Farmers Fed Fights Kahlon Reforms

YERUSHALAYIM -

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s campaign to lower the cost of living will not be implemented without a fight.

Kahlon’s plan to reduce food prices by lowering import taxes, announced on Sunday, has elicited a backlash from Israel’s farmers, represented by the Farmers Federation.

Federation president Dubi Amitai accused the Finance Ministry of being “afraid to deal with the real problem,” and that a real solution would “hurt tycoons,” he was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.

“They are shutting up the public with useless reforms that do nothing to lower the cost of living,” he alleged.

Relaxing import restrictions will only open the market to foreign products that will endanger the health of the Israeli consumer, as in the past, Amitai said. He cited recent reports by the Health and Agriculture ministries on batches of eggs imported from Spain and Ukraine after strains of salmonella were detected.

Amitai dismissed Kahlon’s promises to compensate farmers for losses due to this and other measures to bring down prices, such as the abolition of production quotas announced on Monday.

“We are surprised each day anew by proposed reforms and laws that would put an end to the field of agriculture,” Amitai said.