(photo credit: REUTERS)
Koolanu Party leader Moshe Kahlon on Sunday called for offering pension benefits and expanded credit to small business owners.
“The subject of equal opportunities between a small and large business is important, because they were deprived for years,” Kahlon said at a conference on small and medium businesses.
“We can create a preference for small and medium businesses. It’s good for the country that they grow and develop and hire more workers and more families will make a living.”
The government should pass legislation to ensure that independent workers, such as entrepreneurs, get the same benefits as other employees.
“As welfare minister, I managed to convince the National Insurance Institute to deal with the issue of unemployment benefits for independent workers. The question is not whether they will approve unemployment and pension funds for independent workers, but when it will happen. It can’t be that everyone will have a pension and you won’t,” he told the crowd. The cause, he added, is “right, just, and moral.”
Regulation, he continued, needs to be eased. “Regulation is strangling small business. By the time you manage to get a license, you already close your business,” he said.
Another aspect of boosting small businesses is increasing credit, he said, a problem he called on the Bank of Israel to take up more seriously through regulation. By requiring a higher percentage of credit to go to small businesses, the bank could help spur their growth, he said.
“I am in favor of a free market, I believe that the state must create opportunities and let businesses thrive. But the social sensitivity has to be more than it is today. I am in favor of giving businesses incentives so they can profit,” he said.
Kahlon has repeatedly mentioned the lack of competition in Israel’s financial system as a central economic problem for the country.