PM defends gov't plans to address social grievances

Netanyahu: Gov't is tackling issues of high living costs, affordable housing from different angles, we've had success in dropping unemployment.

August 1, 2011 18:48
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (Ariel Jerozolim

Netanyahu spreads arms 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the current social unrest over affordable housing and the rising cost of living, saying that "the issues arising from the street are justified. We must tend do them without causing damage to the business sector."

Speaking at the Likud faction meeting, the prime minister added that the current government is "accomplishing things that haven't been done in decades. We have succeeded in lowering unemployment to it's lowest level in 30 years," which was at a record low of 5.7 percent in May.

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Netanyahu continued to outline the way in which the government is addressing complaints about the soaring cost of living in Israel, explaining "We are tackling these issues in two ways: The first thing being addressed are cartels, as well as government and private monopolies. The other issue lies in the taxation system. It's good that [this social movement is] happening now, these important issues deserve our attention."

The prime minister turned his attention to housing reforms he has been working to pass in the Knesset, saying that the government was "finishing up two years of dedicated work in order to unclog the pipes of two bureaucratic hurdles: firstly the management of Israeli lands, which will become governed by a much more efficient body, and secondly the housing-committees law."

Netanyahu said that in order to build more apartments, bureaucratic hurdles must be removed, adding that today the amount of time it takes before an apartment becomes available on the market from its most initial phase is "between five and seven years."

Last week a wideranging housing reform bill passed in the Knesset, which included providing cheaper land for buying apartments, the removal of bureaucratic barriers for contractors to develop, and adding 10,000 new student housing units.

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