Cabinet approves the main points of the housing sections of the Trajtenberg Commission report, in an additional part of the Government’s effort to reduce the cost of living.

 Cabinet communique


Government Cabinet meeting (Reuters archive photo)

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 18 March 2012):

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"Today, the Cabinet will approve the main points of the housing sections of the Trajtenberg Commission report. This is an additional part of the Government’s effort to reduce the cost of living.  The focus here is the attempt, which – in the meantime – is gaining momentum, to increase the supply of apartments in order to deal with the price of apartments.  This is also showing positive signs, but this struggle, this effort, will be backed today by a series of steps, some of them far-reaching, to increase the supply of apartments.  The more apartments there are, the greater will be the pressure to lower apartment prices.  This is what the Cabinet has been dealing with even before this report was presented and adopted, how much more so afterwards.

I remind you that this is the fourth section of the report by Prof. Trajtenberg’s commission that we are approving.  We approved the section on taxation.  Today, hundreds of thousands of families in Israel are enjoying supplements of hundreds of shekels a month thanks to the income tax credit points for working parents with small children.  We approved the section on the cost of living.  In the framework of this section, we cancelled taxes on thousands of products, including purchases, or, to be more precise, the tax on purchases over the Internet over NIS 1,200.  And, of course, we approved the section on education in which we made the unprecedented decision on free education from age 3.

This is a Government that gets things done.  It is doing much both in the areas that I have mentioned and in many others for which the ministers here are responsible.  We are setting a global agenda on issues that are important to the security of Israel.  We are dealing with security challenges in the face of regional changes.  We are properly managing the economy in the face of the global economy and we are, of course, making a revolution in education, from pre-school to higher education and afterwards.

In all of these things, we would like to co-opt the younger generation.  I recently appealed to the younger generation in Israel, young men and young women.  I proposed to them that they offer suggestions on how we, as the Government, can improve their lives and we have started to receive answers.  We have already received hundreds of answers and over the next two weeks, we will sift through them.  We will select a representative group of young men and women.  We will bring them to the Cabinet so that they might participate.  They will raise their suggestions.  I hope that this will allow us, as a government, to directly hear the younger generation, without intermediaries, and will allow the younger generation to similarly experience the Government’s deliberations and decisions."

2. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet approved Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz’s decision to appoint Moshe Asher as Director of the Israel Tax Authority, effective 18 March 2013

Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet approved Finance Minister Steinitz’s decision to appoint Doron Arbeli as Director of the Israel Tax Authority, effective immediately until 18 March 2013.

3. Pursuant to Article 22A of the 1977 Airports Authority Law and in accordance with Transportation, National Infrastructures and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz’s recommendation, which was made following consultations with the Airports Authority Board of Directors, the Cabinet approved the appointment of Yaakov Ganot as Airports Authority Director-General, effective 1 April 2012, in place of Yaakov Mor, who asked to conclude his duties.

4. Pursuant to Article 22B of the 1996 Electricity Economy Law and in accordance with the proposal of Energy and Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau and of Finance Minister Steinitz, the Cabinet appointed Orit Farkash-Hacohen as Chairwoman of the Public Utility Authority (Electricity).

5. Prime Minister’s Office Policy Planning Division Director Ehud Prauer presented data on the various Government ministries’ 2011 working plans and discussed both the various indices for measuring implementation by the ministries and the impediments responsible for delaying implementation of some of the plans. 

6. The Cabinet approved a series of proposals submitted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Steinitz – in continuation of the steps to implement the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Commission – regarding easements in the housing sphere.