Netanyahu Unveils Plan to Fight Inflation

By Hamodia Staff

Head of opposition Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to tesitfy before the Meron Disaster Inquiry Committee, in Jerusalem, on July 21(Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — Likud party and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu promised on Wednesday that if elected he will propose an emergency plan to fight inflation and the rising cost of living.

“Our country is in a deep economic crisis. This isn’t fate. It is possible to exit it,” Netanyahu said in a presentation on social media. “Only a stable government, a stable national government, can lower prices,” he asserted, in the first major economic statement made by any of the parties in the current election campaign.

Netanyahu said the plan would immediately address the drivers of inflation: electricity, fuel, and water prices, and that he would freeze arnona (local government taxes) for a year.

“Every two or three weeks, a ministerial committee headed by me will meet and monitor implementation,” he said. He also said that, as in the government he led in 201-2019, he will lower customs duties and further open up the Israeli economy to imports.

Netanyahu also promised to halt the rise in home prices, through issuance of a government bond, reducing the time it takes to obtain building permits, and continued subsidies on land prices for building homes for young couples.

The program was drafted by former energy minister Yuval Steinitz, National Economic Council head Avi Simhon, and former Ministry of Finance director general Shai Babad.

The speech drew immediate fire from Netanyahu’s political opponents. “The person who prevented a state budget from being passed out of personal legal considerations, who put his personal welfare before that of the country and caused severe damage to Israel’s economy, is not worthy and not able to promote any solution in the economic sphere. After the election, we shall form a stable, broad government that will extricate Israel from the crisis – without him,” Benny Gantz and Gideon Sa’ar’s Blue & White-New Hope alliance said in a statement.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party said, “Opposition chairperson Netanyahu continues his disconnected fake news campaign in order to hide the fact that for fifteen years he wantonly neglected Israel’s economy. The government of change headed by Lapid will continue to post achievements in the battle to reduce the cost of living for Israel’s citizens.”

Deputy Economy Minister and candidate for Meretz leadership Yair Golan likewise rejected Netanyahu’s promises. “No plan by Netanyahu will hide his failure in stopping the rise of prices in Israel. He, and only he, is responsible for the housing price insanity. He is the one who enabled importers and manufacturers to turn Israel into one of the most expensive countries in the world. A person caught up in hedonism and receiving gifts will never be able to understand the distress of the Israeli public,” he added, referring to charges that he took gifts from wealth friends in return for favors while prime minister, for which he is currently on trial.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing on his part.

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