Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to implement reforms in the country’s major economic setup, controlled by a few groups, and states a “genuine revolution” in the economy will help alleviate cost-of-living issues for citizens.
Interim conclusions on a report commissioned by Netanyahu more than a year ago, the Committee on Increasing Competitiveness in the Economy, were announced on Monday by Netanyahu, joined by Bank of Israel Governor Stanley FIscher and Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in a press conference.
In a statement, Netanyahu said: “The committee did thorough and professional work in both studying the subject and giving real solutions. The committee's conclusions will lead to substantive changes in the Israeli economy and to the cancellation of the situation that has prevailed for decades, of involvement and major control by a few groups.”
With Arab Spring protests knocking on Israel’s door, the country has seen protests this summer and earlier this month more than 400,000 demonstrators took to the streets across the country. Opinion polls reveal the demonstrations are receiving strong support by the general populace, with around 90 percent approval rating over protests which originally began over high housing prices and rents.
“The state has money that goes to the wrong places, there is no equality. The money doesn't come back to the people,” protester Sshmuel Lim told CNN earlier this month.
In his news conference, the prime minister said “competition is not the enemy of the consumer,” instead, a lack of marketplace competition has created high consumer prices. He is promising “fair competition” which will not hurt businesses involved in job creation, the Jerusalem Post reports.
In the government statement, Netanyahu added implementation of the committee’s conclusions “will lead to a genuine revolution in the Israeli economy in favor of the consumer who is groaning under the illogical cost-of-living.”
Netanyahu noted the Israeli government’s unprecedented investment in the country’s infrastructure has drawn residents “closer to the center.”