Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today made the following remarks, at a press conference on nutritional security, on the poverty data presented by National Insurance Institute Director-General Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef:
"They say that nothing is being done, they say that nothing is happening. Look at what is happening here. Poverty has declined, just as Prof. Mor-Yosef has said, for one simple reason – because we intervened here with two populations, the elderly and the handicapped, and I think that this is very significant.
We have endured three years of global economic crisis. Other western economies are groaning under the burden. They are greatly cutting social welfare budgets, there are waves of dismissals and major unemployment. This is not the situation in the State of Israel; the opposite is true. Our unemployment situation is very good, apparently better than almost all developed countries.
We have added significant social welfare budgets in a way that focuses on the needy populations, not with an open hand and an undiscerning eye, but with an open hand to focused needs, and this is showing signs in a turning point in the poverty trends."
On the implementation of the Trajtenberg report, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
"They say that the Trajtenberg report has been for naught. Not true. This includes the law on free education from age 3, a great thing, a revolution that will go into effect at the end of August at the start of the school year. We added tax credit points – this is money in people’s pockets. We lowered taxation. We allowed people to buy products over the Internet without duties. All of these things have lowered the cost of living. As you know, we added free dental care until age 12; this means a great number of free dental treatments for children.
We also did other things to lower the cost of living, such as the reform of the cellular phone market – all of this together puts money in citizens’ pockets. You lower the cost of living and we will continue in this direction today with a very, very important and dramatic decision for the needy population."