Daily Israel Report

Trajtenberg: Israelis Not Feeling Growth, Govt. to Blame

Trajtenberg says successive governments let prices skyrocket, leaving Israelis facing the same struggles despite economic growth.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/4/2011, 4:01 PM

Prof. Trajtenberg
Prof. Trajtenberg
Flash 90

Successive Israeli governments let prices of basic goods skyrocket over the past decade, leaving average citizens no better off than they were years ago despite economic growth, Professor Manuel Trajtenberg accused Tuesday.

Trajtenberg spoke at a stormy Finance Committee session focused on the findings reported by the committee he led on cost of living issues.

“There must be parity between the citizen’s investment and contribution and what he gets in return,” Trajtenberg told committee members. “Citizens of Israel must be provided with equal opportunities at the various stages in their lives.”

Committee head MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) praised Trajtenberg and his team for “putting together such a comprehensive report in so little time.” Gafni said he would work on implementing suggested reforms immediately, even though it does not yet have government approval.

Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin said the Trajtenberg report “should be read again and again.” He warned that calls to decrease the defense budget have not been effective in the past, “I have seen six requests to cut the security budget, and each time the budget grew in the end.”

The matter of the defense budget “requires in-depth deliberation, we must find a creative solution” Rivlin said.

Social protest organizers have rejected the committee’s proposals as insufficient. Many of the organizers had rejected the committee’s formation, and called on Trajtenberg to resign before the final report was in.