Bennett: Labor kept food prices high because of political interests

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January 13, 2015 15:26

 
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Labor are slaves to big unions, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett implied at the Antitrust Authority's annual conference Tuesday.

"It's no coincidence that in my two-year term competition opened up, because we are not the big unions' minions anymore. We can't go back to the days of no competition; we need to disconnect from past concepts," he said on the day of Labor's primary, one day before the vote in Bayit Yehudi.

According to Bennett, past governments made 10 decisions to cancel laws allowing the agricultural sector to engage in cartel behavior, like competitors maintaining high prices rather than actually compete. Such collusion is illegal in other sectors, but there is an exemption for agricultural food products.

None of the 10 decisions were implemented, because of political pressures, but the latest bill by Bennett's Economy Ministry will come into effect in May.

"The Alignment [Labor's name from 1969-1984] wouldn't cancel the exemption for food products because of political interests and considerations of their primaries," he stated. "Once the Alignment left power, we were able to cancel [the exemption] in three readings in the Knesset."

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