Finance Ministry Celebrates a Successful Year

YERUSHALAYIM -
FIsh on display in the Machaneh Yehudah market in Yerushalayim. (Gitty Golds)
Fish on display in the Machaneh Yehudah market in Yerushalayim. (Gitty Golds)

In an annual report on his ministry’s activities, Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon said that “over the next year we shall continue to increase competition in the economy, lower the cost of living, solve the housing crisis, open the economy to imports, and reduce social disparities.”

Among the accomplishments listed in the report is a dramatic drop in the price of fresh carp, tilapia and mullet by NIS 36 a kilo; a reduction in the price of frozen tilapia to NIS 20 a kilo; a fall in the price of fresh meat by 20 percent to 30 percent, thanks to increased imports; and a reduction in the cost of cheese by 20 percent to 30 percent, also due to imports. Also falling in price thanks to imports were tomatoes, the report said.

Other prices that have fallen include those for bus and train transportation, which fell 14.5 percent, as well as for taxis, which thanks to an order recently signed by Kachlon, are set to fall 11 percent. Health insurance costs are also down 20 percent, and required car insurance costs have fallen 40 percent.

Salaries for soldiers have risen, with active soldiers in battlefield units rising from NIS 1,077 at the beginning of the year to its current NIS 1,616. Salaries for many members of law enforcement have gone up about NIS 1,500, and thanks to a new contract, lower-salaried employees in the public sector are up 7.75 percent.

With that, the report did not discuss the current state of housing prices, which rose 8 percent in the past year. In addition to the increase in the cost of housing, rents have also risen considerably, due to the weak dollar.