Photo: Motti Kimchi
Kahlon and Likud square off over finance plan
Likud MKs come out publicly against Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon's plan to reduce cost of living; MKs warn Kahlon plan won't pass without support from Netanyahu and Likud.
Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon and the Likud are trading punches over a plan Kahlon submitted Tuesday to abolish customs duties on a number of household items as part of a drive to reduce the cost of living for Israelis.



Likud MKs came out strongly against the plan and the manner in which it was presented, which caught Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off guard.


Kahlon and Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi) (Photo: Amit Shabi)
Kahlon and Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi)


MK Nava Boker (Likud) attacked the plan, saying, "This is a bad plan that does not provide a solution to the 230,000 people living with hunger. Kahlon must announce an increase in the allowances to the minimum wage. Any solution that amounts to less will encounter strong resistance from me and those of my fellow Likud members. "


MK Yoav Kish wryly remarked that he was pleased "Minister Kahlon remembered he is Minister of Finance and not Minister of Communications."


Kish continued, saying, "Kahlon should remember that without the support of the Prime Minister and the Likud, his plan will not be approved. Kahlon will not be supported by the Likud without a significant increase in the allowances for the disabled, which is no less important than lowering the tax on cellular phones."


Disabled people protesting low Gov't aid (Photo: Motti Kimchi) (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Disabled people protesting low Gov't aid (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


In an interview with Army Radio, Minister Tzachi Hanegbi attacked Kahlon for his presentation of his plan. "In the past, it was at least expected that the PM would not hear about it (the plan) in the media."


Speaking at the inauguration of the Health Discovery Tower at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Kahlon said, "No one really objects to a plan that is so good for the middle class.


"The program will pass in full. Those who are angry at the fact that it provides benefits and relief to people who have been waiting for it for so many years, his anger is out of place."


The plan will cost an estimated NIS 800 million per year. It will not increase the budget deficit and instead will be covered by higher than expected annual tax income.


(Translated and edited by Fred Goldberg)


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