Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv Tuesday, promised to eliminate poverty in Israel within three years.
"There are many people who are mad at me, but I'm discovering they think I'm right," Netanyahu said in reference to scathing criticism leveled at the economic policies he introduced as finance minister.
During the press conference, the Likud leader introduced a "10 point" plan, including tax cuts that will bring the maximum tax rate down to 40 percent from the current 49 percent. The move would greatly favor high-income earners. Bibi said he would also cut the Value Added Tax to 14 percent and provide soldiers and students with benefits.
Under the Likud's plan, university tuition fees will be reduced, and discharged soldiers in outlaying areas will get free land in the north and south of the country. Netanyahu also vowed to privatize defense industries and cut down the size of the government.
Turning his attention to the poorer segments of society, Netanyahu pledged to create free daycare centers for single mothers and also promised to introduce a negative income tax for low-income earners, boost in allowances for elderly and provide older Israelis with discounted medicine.
"We can be one of the world's top 10 countries in per-capita income and this will permanently solve our social problems," he said. "In order to do this we need a population that is clever, industrious, and working. We of course also need a knowledge-based economy."
"People have to not only work but also upgrade themselves with knowledge through education," Netanyahu said.