PM: Impossible to lower taxes and pay for programs (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 04/02/12)
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Anyone who says it is possible to lower taxes and increase services
doesn’t know what he is talking about, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu said Sunday, just hours after he lowered the tax on
gasoline to keep prices down for consumers.
“I would like to make it clear – we do not control world gasoline
prices,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting. “The price of
gasoline is rising all over the world, in all countries. What we can
do is to try and ease the burden on citizens in a responsible and
measured way, and this is what we are doing.”
Netanyahu said his decision Saturday night to reduce gas taxes and
thereby lower by some 15 agorot the gas hikes that went into effect
Sunday morning marked the fourth time he has taken such a move in a
year. All told, he said, his interventions have trimmed some 80
agorot off the gas price increases over the last 12 months. He noted
that Israel’s taxes on gasoline are lower than in many European
Netanyahu said that even though he reduced the taxes, Israel has
maintained its budgetary framework and that within a week he would
submit a proposal drawn up by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz to
maintain the framework even as the revenue from gasoline tax
“Whoever says that it is possible to lower taxes and broaden
expenditures without making an account lacks economic knowledge and
is irresponsible,” he said.
Netanyahu said the tax revenue is needed to purchase additional Iron
Dome batteries, complete work on the border fence going up with
Egypt, pay for free education for children and care for the elderly.
He added that in the past two years – “for the first time in many
years” – the country’s poverty index has started to decline.
“The number of poor people in the State of Israel dropped for the
first time in years because we have invested in the elderly and have
encouraged the ultra-Orthodox and Arabs to join the work force,” he
said. “For the first time, the clock is turning.”
His comments came during a meeting marking the completion of his
government’s first three years in office.
“This is the most stable government in the last 20 years,” Netanyahu
said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/02/12)
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