Finance Minister Yair Lapid and MK Aryeh Deri
Finance Minister Yair Lapid and MK Aryeh DeriFlash 90

Shas head MK Aryeh Deri slammed Finance Minister Yair Lapid in a post to Facebook on Saturday night.

Deri mocked Lapid's using the fictional Israelis “Asher,” “Chaim” and “Riki”, characters Lapid has referred to in previous speeches and Facebook posts, claiming to care about them.

“Tomorrow morning Asher from Bnei Brak, Chaim from Jerusalem, and Riki Cohen from Hadera, too - all those whose names the Finance Minister so loves to use for his own ends – will all wake up and feel the hole in their wallet. They will well feel how he adds them, too, to his ‘brothers’ the slaves.”

Deri expressed regret that the government did not take a different approach. “It’s a shame that the government didn’t take the step of varying VAT, which would have taken the burden off the middle class and the weaker sectors of society, and would not have made them think twice before buying the basics like bread and milk,” he said.

Varying VAT, with different tax rates for different products, high for luxury products and low or non-existent for staples, was suggested last week, but the Knesset approved Lapid’s plan, which includes a uniform VAT increase and adding VAT to fruits and vegetables.

Deri concluded, “The middle class and weaker sectors are not the Finance Minister’s ATM.” Lapid has previously referred to the middle class as “the national ATM” when promising to protect its interests.