Tent protest leaders call for bigger budget

The demand is at total odds with the government's position and statements by Rothschild team leader Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg.

The tent protest leaders today unveiled their demands to narrow Israel's social gaps, rebuild society, and lower the cost of living, six weeks after the protest began, and after endless rounds of talks. At today's press conference, the protest leaders also called for increasing the budget framework to meet social needs. The demand is at total odds to the government's position and statements by Rothschild team leader Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg.

"The broad civil cry from the people demands urgent discussion on Israel's priorities and new thinking about the public services the people receive," state the document. Since the document sets out general demands, not specific proposals, it was made public, but not presented to the Trajtenberg committee.

The statement of principles was written by the National Union of Israeli Students and several social organizations. The principles touch on the housing shortage, education, the high cost of food, the high cost of fuel, the privatization of agriculture and the Israel Land Authority, the high poverty rate and the government's abandonment of its responsibilities in these areas. The protest leaders say that the principles offer a framework for discussion on narrowing these social problems.

"Without these points, the Israeli public will continue to fight each other for the crumbs: single mothers against army reservists, students against the elderly, Holocaust survivors against the teachers, and so on," said a protest leader. "The central principle guiding us in this war for our homes is to increase the budget framework. Without increasing the budget framework, it will not be possible to deal with the frightening conditions we have reached in the health and education systems, housing, limiting the high cost of living and the ability of a person to live with dignity in Israel. This can be done, in part, by changing the tax policy. We believe that change is possible and that the nation's elected officials should do it."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 24, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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