Professor Yaron Zelekha, the director of Accountancy Studies at Ono Academic College, has offered cautious praise for the new government's proposed measures to combat the cost of living crisis, but stresses that far more needs to be done.
Speaking on Radio 103FM on Thursday, Zelekha said that the plans do not constitute a genuine program but rather, piecemeal measures. "What Netanyahu and Smotrich described isn't a program - it's just a package of steps indicating an important change in direction in government policy. And it's far from enough," he said. "The brake they intend to put on increasing prices of water, property tax, electricity, and gasoline is a positive step that will help to combat inflation. The previous government just let everything rip," he added.
According to the professor, "In Israel, the recent price rises are also a result of two other factors: one, the previous government simply allowed prices to spiral up; and two, many of the measures they implemented actually contributed to those price rises. For instance, during the previous government's term, the cost of public transportation rose by 10 percent; property tax rose more than was necessary; and new taxes, such as those on disposable goods and soda, were imposed. There were other things, too. All these contributed to the rise in inflation.
"The new government has signaled a change in direction, which is welcome -- but if the measures they are proposing represent the sum total of their plans, any rejoicing is certainly premature," Zelekha concluded.