Taxes on shoes were the latest to be slashed, as the government continues with its program of lowering the cost of living for Israelis. Shoes, which until now had an import duty of 12 percent, are no longer subject to an import tax at all. The reduction is not retroactive, which means that the price of shoes already on store shelves or warehouses will not necessarily be reduced.
The loss to the government will be NIS 188 million a year – but that will be money well spent, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said. “Canceling the tariff on shoes is good news for consumers. There are significant difference in prices on many products in Israel and those same products elsewhere in the world. We will not continue to accept this. We will continue with our program of lowering or eliminating import duties on products as long as it does not harm local production.”
The duty reduction was another component of Kahlon’s “Family Net” plan, which promises significant tax breaks and subsidies for working families and middle-class Israelis, including an increase in tax credits for families with children five years of age and under. The change to the credits for these families will provide working parents with NIS 215 more per month on average, resulting in an increase in income of thousands of shekels a year for working parents with small children at home.
Additional components of the plan include further tax discounts for families where two parents work; government subsidies for after-school programs, with a cap of NIS 930 per month on costs for the programs; transfer payments for individuals who earn NIS 5,000 or less; and cancellation of import duties on children’s clothing and shoes.