The Israeli government on Wednesday unveiled a raft of measures aimed at tackling the surging cost of living in the country.

The new plan includes provisions to boost compensation for businesses and independent employees adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as measures aimed at average Israeli households.

Under the plan, working parents are to get additional tax credits worth hundreds of shekels per month. On top of that, eligibility for negative income tax will be expanded and the rise in utility prices moderated. Customs duties and prices on various consumer goods will also be slashed, and the government will absorb some of the rising cost of electricity.

“Dear citizens, these are not just tactical steps to slow the increase in prices,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “This is a new contract between the state and its citizens, a fair contract, one that says that the good working citizens who share the burden of the state’s existence deserve to keep more of their salaries.

“Our job, as the government, is to take less in taxes from you while … creating true competition that will lower prices. We have seen to the elderly and the Holocaust survivors. Just a few days ago, we raised the salaries of soldiers and young women doing national service, and today, we are seeing to the productive heart of the State of Israel—the working families.

Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the plan would also see increased subsidies for daycare centers and after-school programs.

Earlier in the week, Bennett vowed “to make it very clear: The government will help businesses who were hurt during this period.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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