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Gafni: Lapid Hiding His Real Intention to Hurt the Poor

MK Moshe Gafni criticizes Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s planned budget cuts, says they will hurt the country’s weaker sectors.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/12/2013, 3:16 AM

MK Moshe Gafni
MK Moshe Gafni
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), who chaired the Finance Committee in the last Knesset, criticized Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s planned budget cuts on Thursday, saying they would hurt the country’s weaker sectors and accusing Lapid of hiding his true intentions by emphasizing that he intends to raise taxes on luxuries while hiding from the public the rest of the planned measures.

"This is an overall plan to harm the weaker Israeli citizens and the middle class,” Gafni said. “For the first time, the Treasury found an opportunity to bring out all the harsh measures that were hidden in the drawers for many years. These measures include hurting the poor and the middle class, workers, and anything that moves in Israel.”

Gafni, whose party has been left in the opposition in this government, noted, “In the past we didn’t allow to raise taxes for the middle class. On the contrary, we reduced them by two percent for those earning between 5,000 and 14,000 shekels. We did not allow to hurt the child allowances, that are among the lowest in the Western world, thereby preventing damage again and again to the weaker populations in the country and the middle class. Unfortunately, this time, the Treasury finally found a partner - a finance minister who is disconnected from reality.”

MK Gafni said that "hiding the harsh measures in the plan - such as increasing the VAT and the income taxes for the middle class and the poor - through spins, will not hide the shameful plan. Lapid presented some examples to hide the real measures included in his plan.

"Taxing furs will not hide the increasing number of families that will join the circle of poverty if G-d forbid these measures are approved, and raising the tax on luxury vehicles will not cover up the most difficult measures on the middle class and the poor in recent years,” concluded Gafni.