Cabinet Approves Formation of Committee to Tackle Cost-of-Living Crisis


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu looks on as he convenes a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Pool)

The Cabinet on Sunday approved the formation of a new ministerial committee to “fight the high cost of living”, which is set to meet late this week.

The committee will set “unified government policy” and coordinate between the ministries on the issue, including, among others, “steps to increase competition, reduce [economic] concentration, improving and reducing regulation on different economic sectors and lifting limits on import,” according to the text of the Cabinet decision.

The committee will also “examine the legal and regulatory arrangements” that affect the cost of living, and will “develop proposals for structural changes and reforms.” It also intends to direct the Competition Authority to provide a layout of the levels of competition in the economy’s different sectors, in order to supply the ministers with a “broad and dependable factual basis.”

The committee will be led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and include 12 other ministers, including committee chair substitute Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionist Party), Economy Minister Nir Barkat (Likud), Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter (Likud), Environmental Protection minister Idit Silman (Likud) and Energy Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud).

It will also include a series of permanent invitees, including the directors general of a number of the Prime Minister’s Office and Finance, Economy and Agriculture Ministries, as well as the chief of Israel’s National Economic Council, head of the Finance Ministry’s budget department, and the Bank of Israel governor.

“We will develop plans, lead reforms and act with all methods in order to ensure that the government carries out all of the necessary actions: Opening markets, reducing barriers, acting on distributors, importers and suppliers, in order to lower the prices and the cost of living for the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting.

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