Steinitz praises Trajtenberg C'tee, not all recommendations

Finance minister says recommendations are "very good"; demand for free education from 3 months, however, "doesn't exist anywhere in the world"; defense cuts will only come from supplementary budget.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Tuesday praised the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Committee for Socioeconomic Change presented to the government on Monday.
The recommendations are "very good" and permit a meaningful process for improvement in the areas of education and society, he told Israel Radio.
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"The committee did good by recommending significant improvements without breaking the budget and without endangering the foundations of the Israeli economy," he added.
As a small country, Steinitz said, Israel cannot allow itself everything it wants, "but we have a process for improvement and rehabilitation."
But Steinitz was not pleased by every element of the recommendations. Addressing the demand for free education from the age of three months, he retorted, "This does not exist in any country in the world."
Discussing cuts to the defense budget, Steinitz said, "We're only talking about [budgetary] supplements that the Defense Ministry has received," which he said comes to roughly NIS 10 billion a year.
The Trajtenberg Committee presented its recommendations to the government and the public on Monday, outlining NIS 60 billion in budget allocations to address grievances raised by months of nationwide demonstrations for “social justice.”
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg  said the report would not solve all of Israeli society’s problems, but that it would “cast strong foundations through which a fairer and more just society will flourish.”
The 267-page report outlined, as expected, a raft of changes in four areas: housing, social services, competition and the cost of living and taxation.
In its summary, the report recommended allocating NIS 30 billion over the next five years toward achieving socioeconomic change, the lion’s share of which will go toward education.
Ruth Eglash contributed to this report.