(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Likud faction announced on Friday that it planned to propose a no-confidence vote against the government in the wake of its decision to raise the price of bread by seven percent.
The price rise was suggested by the Price Committee and approved by the outgoing Finance Minister and newly sworn-in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Likud Central Committee chairman MK Gidon Sa'ar attacked the government over the price increase. "It is a mockery, when the first decision of a government, which wastes money on an cabinet inflated with ministers without portfolios, is to raise the price of the most essential product", said Sa'ar.
Interior Trade Manager of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry Tzvia Duri said that the action was taken due to recent financial losses of bakeries.
"The [economic] criterion suggested that we needed to raise the price of bread so that is exactly what we have done. We cannot subsidize the consumers."
"If we wouldn't have enforced this move, the price would have eventually been increased by 14%," added Duri.
The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry stressed that there was no connection between the price increase and Shas Chairman Eli Yishai's new role as the head of the ministry.
Yishai claimed that the move was made behind his back. "It is a scandal," he fumed.
UTJ MK Ya'acov Litzman criticized the change and said that he was convinced that Yishai would reverse it.
Labor MK Shelly Yehimovic said that the decision cast a shadow over the integrity of the prime minister who pledged to fight poverty. She called on Yishai to revoke the price increase calling it "cynical underhanded opportunism of Olmert."