PMO's cost of living campaign draws Labor party ire

Labor slams as "ironic and cruel" the NIS 5m. gov't campaign advertising reforms to reduce cost of living.

PMO's cost of living video campaign 370 (photo credit: Screenshot)
PMO's cost of living video campaign 370
(photo credit: Screenshot)
The Labor party on Wednesday slammed the PMO's new campaign advertising measures it has taken to reduce the cost of living, branding its timing as "ironic and cruel."
Half-a-year after approving a raft of measures aimed at reducing the cost of living, the government launched its NIS 5 million campaign to advertise the reforms.
The commercials, which will appear on television, radio and in newspapers in the coming weeks, feature typical Israeli families who supposedly benefit from tax breaks, free kindergarten and other initiatives. The campaign was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office, Treasury and Education Ministry and produced by the Government Advertising Bureau.
"It is ironic and cruel that on the same day it is reported that 16 thousand families were thrown out of work in the last month, Netanyahu's government presents happy, carefree families," Labor said in a statement.
"It is an advertising campaign that is entirely a electoral publicity stunt, and which is funded by public money," the statement read."It is a shame that the millions it costs were not invested in more worthy goals."
In one of the TV ads, Hod Hasharon couple Haim and Chen Greenberg talk about the pressures of financing a mortgage and supporting two small children. The recently introduced tax credits boost the family’s net income by around NIS 700-800 each month, they say, “which gives us a little room to breathe.”
Rami and Yaara Kaplan from Ramat Gan feature in another ad, along with their child Ido. Children are constantly full of surprises, they say, but “the happiest” surprise was when they found out that sending Ido to kindergarten would cost them nothing. At the end of the ad, the voice-over says that almost 270,000 children aged 3 and up will receive free education when school begins soon.
Early this year and at the end of 2011, the government approved amended versions of the Trajtenberg Report’s recommendations on reducing the cost of living. The report, which was commissioned one year ago in response to massive public protests, contained chapters on taxation, education, competition and housing. Among the measures were free education for children aged 3-4 and after hours education care for children aged 3-9.
Liran Dan, spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, told Army Radio Wednesday that the campaign was launched to ensure that people “know and understand” the government’s actions.
“Some of the families who were invited to participate in the advertising campaign didn’t even know that they were eligible for these benefits,” Dan said. “There is information here that could have financial value for people.”