Gov't unfreezes subsidized bread price

Removed from list of subsidized foods following global hike in wheat prices; 15% price rise expected.

Bread 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Bread 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The government decided Sunday afternoon to accept Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai's proposal to remove subsidized bread from the list of government-regulated food products, along with compensating needy families over the move, Israel Radio reported. Unfreezing the price of bread together with a hike in the price of wheat in recent months is expected to raise the price of bread by 15 percent. Following approval by the government, the proposal still needs the approval of Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On before going into effect. The 15% price hike is expected in the next few days, probably before the end of the week. According to Yishai's proposal, all citizens receiving welfare from the National Insurance Institute (NII), including the elderly and families receiving child welfare, will be compensated with a one-time sum. According to Yishai's parameters, most of the country's citizens would be on the list. The compensation, ranging between NIS 60 to NIS 180, would cost the state an estimated NIS 60 million. Additionally, the state would discuss with Yishai's ministry compensation for the year 2008 when the 2008 state budget will be negotiated.