Meridor, who took part in a panel of former finance ministers in an Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry convention on socioeconomic issues, said that "one of the ways to deal with social gaps should to address birthrate issue."
"We have reached crazy birthrates, especially among Arabs and haredim," he said. "There are whole social classes in the population, especially where not everyone works, with many children born with the State's encouragement. The State should encourage change in this field and give people incentives for change."
Minister Meridor, a father of four, continued his critique of the ultra-Orthodox sector by saying the State must insist upon requiring basic subjects to be taught at haredi schools.
When asked how the issue was relevant to social gaps and poverty he responded, "It is definitely relevant. One of the reasons for poverty is the fact that people don't receive education and schooling that pertain to the modern world."
Former finance ministers Avraham Shochat and MK Meir Sheetrit were also seated on the panel, as well as Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman, and fielded questions on the economy and social gaps.
Sheetrit said managers were being overpaid in Israel and declared that he intended to propose a bill limiting their salaries. A Knesset committee is currently debating a similar bill by MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor).
Ne'eman said the issue was a complex one, and suggested that the best way to handle social gaps would be to encourage the unemployed to work and limit the number of foreign workers in Israel through the direct involvement of the government.
Meridor said the government must withdraw a plan for the reduction of taxes in the upper classes.
"The taxes in Israel are fine and they are not too high. Continued reduction will only harm the weaker classes further," he said.
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