MK Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) had harsh words for Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday, over a rise in public transportation fares.
The 4.7% fare increase goes into effect on Wednesday and is expected to have a negative impact on people such as seniors and students, who do not have a car and rely on public transit to get to places.
Responding to the increase, Yechimovich mocked Lapid, who made sure to hold a press conference when he announced that the prices of cream cheese and whipping cream, which are far from being essential products, would be under government supervision, but remained silent on the fare increase.
"No one is calling a press conference over this issue, such as the strange one Lapid held yesterday about the cheese and the whipping cream," she said. "This just 'happens,' after Lapid refused to freeze the fare increase.”
Yechimovich added sarcastically, “If you don’t have money for the bus, start drinking 38% whipping cream.”
She further noted that the Finance Ministry and the Transportation Ministry were quarrelling over who was responsible for the fare increase, and pointed out that if it were a fare reduction, there would have been a battle over who should take credit for it.
"The meaning of this increase is another 1,500 shekels a year that public transportation users will have to pay,” said Yechimovich. “The price increase is not only outrageous, unnecessary, unjust, abusive and hurts the weak - it also prevents more people from gaining access to public transportation."
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Gil Yaakov, who heads an organization called “15 Minutes” which aims to encourage Israelis to use public transportation, said it was Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) who was directly responsible for the fare increase.
Yaakov said Katz was a "bulldozer who tramples the users of public transportation in Israel” and said that during his time as Transportation Minister, “hurting the passengers has become a tradition."