Labor offers the public a contract

Peretz intends to raise minimum wage to $1000/ month, reduce unemployment.

peretz to labor mtg 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
peretz to labor mtg 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Labor party on Sunday announced its socioeconomic platform, which places top priority on raising the minimum wage to $1000 a month. Labor party chairman Amir Peretz said that Labor would enter into a contract with the Israeli public. According to Peretz, Labor (the party of the first part) would undertake to reduce poverty if the public (the party of the second part) would vote Labor, Israel Radio reported. Labor also promised to minimize the number of employees working through employment agencies without benefits; to pass a law guaranteeing pensions to every employee; and to increase social security benefits for the elderly and the handicapped. In addition, Labor has committed to cutting unemployment by four percent and reducing the defense budget by NIS 2 billion. Professor Avishay Braverman presented the platform details and said wise budget cuts could achieve the party's goals. However, in response to Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu's declaration that he would "end poverty within three years," Braverman said he didn't know "a single magician, not even Harry Potter," who could live up to that promise. At a Labor convention in January, Peretz announced his intention to wage a war on "big money"-backed politics. Peretz also used the occasion to launch an attack on acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for the first time since Ariel Sharon's hospitalization last month. "Olmert has told students that he will raise tuition at higher education institutions," Peretz said. "I promise that every student will be free to study." He added that student loans would be altered so that students would begin repaying the loans only when they had entered the work force and received a salary equitable to the market average. "There is one issue and one issue only that will define why Israel will vote for us," Peretz said. "All parties promise to make Israel safe, but who can promise a socio-economic agenda? Only us!"