A new Finance Ministry report corroborates what most Israelis already know: The cost of living is much higher than the average of industrially developed countries. According to the report, prices on a range of items in Israel are higher than the 34 other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of the most economically developed nations in the world.
"The level of prices in Israel is higher than in countries with similar GDP (gross domestic product) per- capita" the Finance Ministry acknowledged.
The report, released Monday, found that Israelis are paying 52% more then the developed world on cars, 25% more on food, and 29% more on hotels and restaurants. In addition, the average Israeli shells out 30% more on transportation, and 23% for water and electricity.
Health care costs are 19% higher, despite the Jewish state's universal health care system.
Israel dropped three places in purchasing power, and is sandwiched between Spain and the Czech Republic.
The dismal report did present a silver lining though, showing that Israelis are laying out 6% less on education then the rest of the OECD, and 9% less on fruits and vegetables.
Israel's high cost of living has become a hot topic over the last few years, particularly as housing prices have skyrocketed.
High rents and food costs, particularly that of cottage cheese, an Israeli staple, were among the triggers of a popular protest movement that peaked in 2011 with 500,000 Israelis from all walks of life taking to the streets and squatting in urban tent camps.