Lapid: Gas prices to decrease in August, cheap retail is on its way

The Prime Minister has announced a decline in the price of gasoline after a period of repeated increases as part of an extensive effort to decrease the cost of living

 Illustration image of a man fueling his car at a gas station, in Jerusalem, on June 28, 2022. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Illustration image of a man fueling his car at a gas station, in Jerusalem, on June 28, 2022.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

In a statement on Sunday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced that the price of fuel is slated to drop as of August 1 as part of an initiative to counteract the generally high cost of living in Israel.

“This government will lead a determined campaign on the cost of living. What is happening now is just the beginning. The cost of living is a scourge and we are determined to address it,” Lapid said. “There can't be a rich country here with citizens who don't finish the month. For 15 years the struggle against the cost of living was completely neglected - they simply did nothing. We are changing that now.”

“There can't be a rich country here with citizens who don't finish the month. For 15 years the struggle against the cost of living was completely neglected - they simply did nothing. We are changing that now.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid

The price of gasoline has made several moves in 2022 – primarily in a staunchly upward direction. At present, the price of gasoline stands at 8.08 shekels per liter, following the latest increase at the beginning of July.

Last month, the Finance Ministry announced the extension of the excise tax on fuel and diesel, which reduces their tax cost by a half shekel. As of August 10 that reduction will include an additional half shekel, summing up to one shekel less in taxes on fuel until November 15.

 Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Yair Lapid at a cabinet meeting on 24/07/2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Yair Lapid at a cabinet meeting on 24/07/2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Lapid's efforts

Lapid also called attention to the efforts being made by the government in other fields, such as food prices, noting that “fruit and vegetable prices are on a downward trend,” and that they are working to counteract the rising cost of bread due to a global rise in wheat prices.

As well, the Prime Minister called attention to the housing market, in  which prices have run rampant for several months as a result of low supply to meet demand.

He pointed out that ”there are already many more construction starts this year than in previous years,” which is a fundamental step in solving the problem, but there is a lot of time between construction starting on an apartment and a family moving into it – as such there is yet no concrete hope for falling housing prices in the near future.

Also added to the mix is targeted aid to young families and soldiers, as well as an initiative to bring more discount shopping alternatives to the Israeli market.

To that end, French supermarket giant Carrefour is making its way to Israel as well as Netherland-based retail chain SPAR, and grocery store chain Rami Levy has announced that it will break into the non-food retail market, offering the cheapest prices in Israel on home décor, kitchen products, seasonal products and games, products for children and back to school, bathroom accessories and clothing, according to chain owner Levy.

Lapid offered a word of warning to stores hoping to inflate their prices unnecessarily during this period of economic strain: “I’ll say from here to all the players in the market: those who raise prices irresponsibly may wake up in the morning and find themselves with competition that they did not expect. This government believes in competition and opening markets and will not hesitate to act.”