Netanyahu’s new economic plan for Israel: no VAT on ‘staple foods’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Cherie Cullen.

( Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pitched a new economic plan to Israelis on Monday, distancing himself from recently jettisoned finance minster Yair Lapid’s plan to waive the value-added tax (VAT) on some apartments.

“I have an alternative plan: zero VAT on staple foods that are subject to price control,” Netanyahu said at the Israel Business Conference hosted by the business publication Globes. “This will help millions of people by accommodating their most basic needs through a more affordable consumption of bread, milk, and eggs. It will help them save hundreds or even thousands of shekels each year. It would effectively slash the price of those items by 15 percent. Those who are the least well-off would save the most—this is what social justice is all about.”

Netanyahu said his plan would cost less than Lapid’s, adding that he would also like to double benefits for newly discharged Israel Defense Forces soldiers. The prime minister lamented that Israel’s political dynamics have compromised the executive branch’s ability to govern, stressing that the upcoming early elections need to result in “a clear mandate to deal with matters that pertain to peace, security, and economics” for the government to function properly.

Posted on December 8, 2014 .