Peres was referring to a report published by the Latet foundation, released on Monday morning, which revealed that 2.5 million Israelis were living below the poverty line.
"This report is a damning indictment for ourselves. It is the responsibility of the (political) factions to put the fight against poverty at the top of the agenda," said Peres at a conference held by the Food Association.
The Likud responded to Peres' heated words. "When Netanyahu raised the minimum wage to NIS 4,300 monthly salary in 2011 – that was an action. Not a statement. When we legislated the Free Education Law from the age of 3 and saved families NIS 800 per child that was an action. Not a statement. When we introduced free dental care for children until age 12 that was an action. Not a statement. When we gave one academic year for free for released soldiers from the Negev and Galilee and lowered the cellular rates those were actions. Not statements. The only statements are the baseless rumors from the left against Netanyahu and the Likud. And now, after the statements against Netanyahu, please tell us what are the actions you, the people of the left, made for the public?!"
The Latet foundation's report revealed that one in every three Israeli children is poor, and one in every four children whose families receive aid from various organizations goes to sleep hungry at night.
Chairman of the Labor party Isaac Herzog responded to the report's findings and said: "No child should go to sleep at night with a stomach inflamed with hunger. No elderly citizen should have to choose between heating and medication. Nobody should have to look for their next meal in a garbage can."
Whoever needed proof that the Likud has abandoned social sensitivity long ago, the alternative poverty report provides striking evidence," said Herzog.
"While Netanyahu is busy scaring the public with external threats, he grew with his own hands a strategic internal threat with 2.5 million poor people. The fact that one in three children is poor constitutes a failing grade which echoes Netanyahu's economic policies. This situation cannot continue," Herzog continued.