Netanyahu vows to lower prices with more competition

PM blames concentration in economy for high cost of living; vows to take action to increase competition without hurting business.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday discussed plans to lower the cost of living in Israel, promising "less concentration and more competition."
The prime minister was joined by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer in a press conference to present the interim findings of the Committee on Increasing Competitiveness in the Economy.
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Netanyahu said that he had commissioned the report more than a year ago when he realized that despite a healthy economy, the cost of living in the country was rising.
The prime minister stated that "competition is not the enemy of the consumer," but rather a lack of competition in the market led to the high cost of goods.
He promised "fair competition" that would not hurt business owners who create jobs and lead the economy.
Netanyahu stated that the committee's final report would be issued in three months and passed on to the Knesset.
"The committee did thorough and professional work in both studying the subject and giving real solutions.  The committee's conclusions will lead to substantive changes in the Israeli economy and to the cancellation of the situation that has prevailed for decades, of involvement and major control by a few groups," Netanyahu stated. He also  thanked  Finance Ministry Director-General Haim Shani, who chaired the committee, outgoing Prime Minister's Office Director-General Eyal Gabai and all the other members of the committee.
"These steps, along with those of the special committee that I appointed, chaired by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, will lead to a genuine revolution in the Israeli economy in favor of the consumer who is groaning under the illogical cost-of-living," he added.
Last month, the prime minister ordered the committee to speed up their work amid cost of living protests, saying the country's priorities were changing.