Finance Minister Steinitz
Finance Minister SteinitzIsrael News Photo; Flash 90

The new economics: cut corporate taxes now and fuel the economy. Wage earners must wait a year for tax cuts. Netanyahu is piloting an “economic jet.”

The Netanyahu government unveiled its “jet plane for economic growth,” with an immediate cut in corporate taxes in an attempt to halt the recession and fuel renewed economic growth.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz presented the program, which was rich with encouraging slogans but poor on specific content that Finance Minister Steinitz promised would be disclosed as the “jet plane” continues on the runway towards takeoff.

The Prime Minister opened his statement with the analogy to the jet, saying a pilot and a co-pilot exist to keep the economy from taking a nosedive and then guiding it to “soar upwards."

"We are in a great crisis, but we must act to save the economy, save jobs, and boost the economy. We've done it before, and we will do it again,” he stated. "The plan is comprised of brakes and accelerators. The fact that we know that there are growth engines in itself helps to stop the fall. The plan combines blocking and growth measures.”

The five main points of the plan are to expand credit, halt further unemployment and promote jobs, reforms of quasi-government agencies, cutting taxes and help investments.

Kadima party officials called the plan a “bluff” and "empty of content,” but business leaders reacted favorable to the proposals. Finance Minister Steinitz said success of the program “requires cooperation from everyone to contribute” whatever they can to get the economy moving.

“Everyone feels this is an unprecedented crisis,” he stated. “We will take steps to stop the unemployment and bring about signs of renewed growth in one to two years. The result will be a stronger economy, society and country.”

Wage earners will begin to enjoy tax cuts next year under a seven-year tax reduction program. The economic reforms will focus on the areas of government land administration, the Israel Electric Corporation and the Port Authority, with the aim of opening competition and spurring more jobs.

Netanyahu previously tried unsuccessfully to break up the monopolies in those fields during his tenure as Finance Minister in the Sharon government.