PM: Housing crisis solutions must not bankrupt country

Netanyahu urges financial responsibility at cabinet meeting: "If we face economic collapse...we will not solve economic or social problems."

Netanyahu cabinet meeting 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Netanyahu cabinet meeting 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that Israel needs responsible but sensitive solutions to the socioeconomic problems which have led to protests across Israel, that will not bankrupt the country.
Speaking at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu stated that he instructed Manuel Trajtenberg, heading a newly formed socioeconomic committee, "to submit concrete solutions during the month of September, as quickly as possible – but not too quickly.  We are dealing here with complex issues.  We intend to arrive at concrete solutions, not generalizations, but rather concrete solutions to concrete problems of reducing the cost of living and the closing of gaps in the State of Israel, gaps including those between the periphery and the center. "
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During its first meeting last week, the Trajtenberg committee was broken down into a number of subcommittees that are to deal with the following issues: taxes; competition and the high cost of living; social services; and housing.
In addition, another subcommittee will deal with how much any new proposals will cost, and where the money will come from, and another sub committee will deal with how to conduct this dialogue with the public.
Netanyahu said on Sunday that he wants the committee to find "solutions that are economically sound."  He warned against the danger that Israel could suffer the fate of some European countries which have been hit harshly by the global economic crisis.
"If we end up bankrupt or face economic collapse, a reality in which some of Europe's leading economies find themselves in today, we will not solve neither the economic problems nor the social ones.  Therefore, responsibility is demanded of us, financial responsibility alongside social sensitivity.  That is the necessary formula and we will bring about practical solutions."
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.