Study says Israelis can't make ends meet

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December 17, 2014 05:59
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Israeli households across all population groups are having trouble making ends meet, according to the Taub Center for Social Policy’s 2014 State of the Nation report, released Wednesday.

The main problem, according to the report, was the high cost of housing, which pushed expenditures over the edge. The problem was bad across the board, but worse for some groups. Non-Orthodox Jews had expenditures NIS 864 higher than their incomes, but for Muslims that gap was NIS 1,919 and for haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews it was NIS 3,209, a third of their reported income.

Yet haredi Jews received 60 percent more in monthly benefits than others, NIS 3,256 a month in comparison to NIS 2,000 for other groups.

The section on housing costs found that they increased 53% faster than other prices between April 2003 and July 2013. The increase was a result of both the low interest rate and rigid supply, “rooted in the complex bureaucracy of the construction process, an inherent conflict of interest at the local level, and a high prevalence of condominium apartment living in Israel, which poses an obstacle to urban renewal.”

In the 13 years it takes to get through the construction process, only two years are devoted to construction while the rest are devoted to bureaucracy, the study found.

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