Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu: We're Serious on Social Reform

Trajtenberg Committee will recommend "major" steps to the Socio-Economic Cabinet in the coming weeks, Netanyahu says.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/28/2011, 6:52 PM

Trajtenberg, Netanyahu
Trajtenberg, Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that his government intends to carry out major reforms in response to the summer's tent protests.  

In a statement to the Cabinet, Netanyahu said: "We are not neglecting – neither as a result of our security responsibility nor of our economic responsibility – anything regarding our responsibility to implement social reform in the State of Israel. We are doing this."

"The Trajtenberg Committee is working with all due urgency.  It will submit its recommendations to us next month.  This is a very serious committee and we are talking about serious and responsible steps.  These will not be small steps, but major ones and will be submitted to the Socio-Economic Cabinet in the coming weeks.  Ours is a genuine commitment to social reform and the reform we are talking about is both genuine and serious."

Netanyahu noted other socioeconomic steps that the government is already enacting: "There are the dramatic steps that we are taking in transportation infrastructure, the free dental care that we are giving to Israeli children, the lowering of cellular telephone costs, and the 45,000 new housing starts that are influencing the construction market."

Protesters put up tent encampents in Israel's cities in the past two months and have been holding demonstrations almost every week, calling for cheaper housing and other economic reforms. They have been goaded on by the press, and have received support from the New Israel Fund. Some nationalists suspect that the protest is a leftist ploy to destabilize the government.