Likud, Kadima spar over electricity price hike

Opposition: Netanyahu "mortally wounding middle class and weaker sectors of society"; Likud retorts Kadima has "unbelievable audacity."

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz 311 (photo credit: Courtesy: Ministry of Finance spokesperson)
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz 311
(photo credit: Courtesy: Ministry of Finance spokesperson)
Kadima slammed the government's policies on Sunday night, after Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz announced that electricity prices would jump by 10 percent.
The party released a statement calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "Prime Minister of Taxes."
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"Raising electricity prices proves that Netanyahu does not take the public outcry seriously," a Kadima spokesman said. "When he says he understands the protesters, he is lying in order to cover up his real deeds."
The spokesman accused Netanyahu of "mortally wounding the middle class and the weaker sectors of society."
"The public is groaning under the weight of the taxes that Netanyahu levies," he added.
Likud responded to Kadima's accusations, saying the opposition party has "unbelievable audacity."
"The Kadima government raised taxes to 12% higher than what we announced," a spokeswoman explained.
"Netanyahu and Steinitz's policy has been to lower electricity costs, since they entered their roles in April 2009," she added. "Now, due to instability in the gas supply from Egypt and higher fuel prices around the world, the government was forced to raise the price."
The price of electricity was expected to rise by 20% this week as a result of rising demand, an increase in fuel prices worldwide and the repeated disruption of natural gas supplies from Egypt after several bombings in Sinai of the pipelines bringing fuel from Egypt. However, Steinitz was able to reduce the price hike by lowering the purchase tax on diesel for producing electricity by 69%.
"Now the price will be similar, or even slightly lower, than it was when Kadima led the government," the Likud said. "The public's memory is not as short as Kadima's."