Orna Barbivay
Orna BarbivayYossi Zeliger/Flash90

Economy Minister Orna Barbivay (Yesh Atid) responded to criticism against the economic measures announced by the government in an attempt to reduce the cost of living.

The plan includes steps presented by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), and Minister Orna Barbivay to reduce the cost of living, which includes lowering taxes.

"The plan is partial and does not provide a solution to everything, but it will have complementary plans. Overall - it provides an answer to the cost of living, especially to the working public, who are collapsing under the burden," Barbivay said in an interview with Galei Tzahal.

She said, "We knew there was a surge in prices because we looked at the world, and [we] started developing solutions. We did not wake up yesterday morning and say we will provide a solution, this is a complementary plan."

Regarding the self-employed, the minister said, "Lapid and I were not satisfied, and we insisted that there be a fuller response for the self-employed, but the ability to assess the harm to them will only be around February. I am committed to finding a solution for them."

Prime Minister Bennett commented on the plan: "We are lowering tariffs on a variety of consumer goods including meat, eggs, and furniture. What I am striving for is a country where those who work for a living can live here with dignity. Our government has set itself the goal of helping families. We are signing a new contract between the state and the citizens."

Bennett announced at a press conference that the government intends to reduce the tax per employee by NIS 223 per month for each child aged 6-12. "A family with two parents and three children at these ages will enjoy another NIS 1,300 every month."

The Prime Minister noted that the government intends to lower tariffs "on a variety of consumer goods such as meat, fish, flour, olive oil, eggs - which everyone uses - as well as furniture and kitchen utensils."

The government will also increase the subsidy for daycare for localities in socioeconomic rankings 4 and 5. The government intends to increase the negative income tax by 20%, and work to reduce electricity prices, among other things, by abolishing the tax on coal.

Liberman said: "Coal prices on an annual basis have jumped by 100 percent, and this has caused an increase in electricity prices. Lowering coal taxes will lead to electricity prices dropping."

On the rise in prices in recent weeks, Bennett said: "Prices are rising but we are bearing part of the burden. This is our deal with the citizens, a fair deal."

Finance Minister Liberman added: "It is important to emphasize, despite the timing, even without the recent rise in prices, even without all the oversight in the media, we would have published the same steps today."

"I tell you, there are more steps to come in a month, in less than a month, this is not the last package," Lieberman promised. "I want to thank the public. The public has really behaved responsibly."