Will the tax exemption for butter imports be cancelled?

Finance Min. Yisrael Katz approves continued butter imports, as Agriculture Min. Alon Schuster pushes to cancel import tax exemption.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


Agriculture Minister Alon Schuster (Blue and White) has expressed opposition to free imports of butter from outside Israel, despite the fact that there is an ongoing shortage, Israel Hayom reported.

In a letter written Thursday to Finance Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), Schuster expressed opposition to the stance of the Agriculture Ministry Director-General Shlomo Ben-Eliyahu, who he quoted as saying that "when there is a conflict between farmers and consumers, the consumers' good takes priority."

"My stance is different than that of the Director-General," he said, explaining that he believes the tax exemption for butter imports, which will expire at the end of this year, should be cancelled. Prior to the exemption, the import tax on butter had stood at 160%.

On Sunday, there was a hearing regarding whether imported butter should be price-controlled, and on June 1, the Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the case of the Israeli Cattle Breeders, Association (ICBA), which opposes opening the butter market, since it is "disproportionate."

Yisrael Katz's office told Israel Hayom: "Just like I worked for the Open Skies reform and the reform to increase competition at ports, I have again chosen the citizens of Israel, who are struggling with the high cost of living and the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. For this reason, I have decided to allow free import, without any additional tax restrictions."