Sweetened drinks on supermarket shelves
Sweetened drinks on supermarket shelves Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) slammed a decision to approve a tax hike for sugary drinks, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

The bill, put forward last year by the Knesset's Finance Committee, was set to go into effect on January 1, 2022. It was approved Monday night by the Knesset plenum.

Slamming Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Maklev said: "Butter is one of the most unhealthy products - but you reduced the customs tax and are encouraging consumption. You don't want health - you want us to drink sweet [drinks] and give you the money."

"We are all against the things which are not healthy. But do we deal with health by force? Where is the education? Where are the incentives?!"

Maklev also brought three proofs that the Finance Minister is only interested in the tax hike, and not truly interested in reducing consumption.

He challenged: "Why is there no tax on cans of diet [soda] - is there no sugar in it at all? And if you did want to reduce consumption, then you would not put the revenue into the State's expected income. And where is the budget for education?"

Turning to MK Mansour Abbas, who heads Ra'am (United Arab List), Maklev said, "Did you ever lend a hand to a tax hike? You are making history here. Where is [MK] Masud Ghnaim? You have no values - you are violating your values and supporting every action of this coalition, even when it contradicts your worldview."