Netanyahu opens the meeting of the special cabinet he established. Take a look at the following picture - and you'll understand why it can't work, even regardless of the economy (Photo: Government Press Office, Kobi Gideon)
Netanyahu has finally realized that the cost of living could cost him dearly and still refuses to take responsibility. As usual, he divides the accusations among others. "I get the impression that recently importers, manufacturers and distributors have lost their brakes," preaches someone who recently lost the engine.
Where does he show responsibility? For example, on the phone to the coach of the (excellent!) youth team, Ofir Haim, whom he called to congratulate him on the performance at the World Cup. He is comfortable in the warm lap of the consensus team. Everyone else is to blame, except for him, of course.
"We will go through office after office to lower the cost of living," he promised. Last week he established the Cabinet of Ministers on the Cost of Living, an unnecessary and pointless cabinet.
Why unnecessary? Because the government is already flooded with cabinets. What she lacks is a captain. The Housing Cabinet is a good example, because so far the only one who has succeeded in curbing housing prices is the Governor who raised interest rates to fight inflation.
The Socio-Economic Cabinet (which by definition is supposed to deal with the cost of living) convened several times, but discussed the railway works on Saturday – indeed a respectful socioeconomic issue. So why should the new "cabinet" lower the cost of living?
Even Churchill at the height of World War II did not surround himself with so many cabinets. But Netanyahu is even struggling to wage the war on the cost of living.
Had he been serious, the issue could have been dealt with in the framework of the Arrangements Law, but then he ran amok to approve the budget and advance the legal reform.
By the way, he has another chance: Netanyahu is invited to announce the shelving of the reform. A second later, the stock market will jump, the dollar will plummet (see how the shekel strengthens whenever there seems to be agreement on the horizon) and the economy will grow. A minute later, the cabinet can be dissolved.
For each participant to speak for even 10 minutes in a meeting, the minimum for a meeting is 3.5 hours. That's not how it can work (Photo: Government Press Office, Kobi Gideon)
Even mathematically it doesn't work out
And back from fantasies to reality. In order to allow each of the 20 cabinet members to speak for only 10 minutes at each meeting, each of them would be stretched over 3.5 hours, an almost impossible amount of time in the regular schedule of an Israeli prime minister.
And suppose the miracle happens, how will the order of the speakers be determined? Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Amir Yaron was placed only last on the committee's list of members. He was preceded by, for example, Dr. Avi Simhon, Netanyahu's economic advisor. That's how it is when you'd rather be told how wonderful you are, rather than what needs to be done.
By the way, just to compare - and speaking of football: while Prof. Yaron is the Leo Messi of economics, Dr. Simhon may be a goalkeeping coach in the league for jobs. That's not how you build a cabinet that in any case invades areas that other government ministries are already dealing with, or at least are supposed to handle: The Finance Ministry has set up a committee to dismantle
monopolies and concentration to focus on the food market. The Ministry of Economy has activated the Competition Commissioner to deal with the banks and threatens exclusive importers, the Ministry of Tourism is formulating a plan for "affordable recreation", the Economy Committee is recommending a reduction in VAT and other measures.
Above all this hovers the spirit of Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni, without whom nothing moves. Uh. And I almost forgot Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf, who formulated a plan to lower housing prices, but nevertheless took a hit from Netanyahu for the failures of the Israel Land Authority.
Netanyahu argued that the ILA is blocking the development of communities in the Galilee by demanding excessive lease fees that impede tenders. Goldknopf, for his part, argued that the state allocates land to rural communities at a lower price than other localities.
Such gunfire inside the APC has long been unheard. And Adin Goldknopf, who serves as housing minister for the ultra-Orthodox, has not yet received full criticism of the housing failure. Because they jumped by 20% during the days of the previous government. Food prices have risen slightly more in the past year than the Consumer Price Index.
Criticism of the cost of living in food has excellent PR. It is true that the price differences vis-à-vis Europe (especially in dairy products) are high, but the main reason is the high VAT.
The first meeting of the new cabinet did not bode well. The finance minister was absent on the original grounds that this was just a kick-off meeting – and he is already familiar with the material (as if he were attending an academic seminar). The economy minister was in New York and the feeling is that both, especially Smotrich, understand that this is an attempt by the prime minister to make a public relations spin on them and derive an image coupon as someone at the forefront of the struggle against the cost of living.
- Benjamin Netanyahu
- Cost of Living