Kahlon blames sectoral parties for housing failures

Moshe Kahlon: The state has a monopoly on land that should be broken up.

"The prime minister has talked about lowering home prices for four years already. It's a burning issue for all of us. 138 salaries are needed to buy an apartment in Israel - it makes no sense. The prime minister called on me to play a part and help implement the housing reform, which has been stuck because of sectoral parties," Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon told “IDF Radio" (Galei Zahal) this morning, following his appointment last night as chairman of the Israel Land Administration.

Asked why the announcement was made now, Kahlon said, "The prime minister wanted to make a declaration of intent and announce his intention now. But we need to talk about the issue. A couple takes a mortgage and is mortgaged for life. It's a fact that land prices are high, the state has a monopoly that should be broken up, and it's necessary to create a much bigger supply that what we have now."

"I was recruited to do this. Not in a full-time or part-time position, but in a policy-making role," added Kahlon. "The Israeli government and the ruling party, for better or worse, want to change this situation."

Regarding the way to influence housing prices, Kahlon said, "We know that land price affect housing prices. We need reform and to increase the supply of land, which will result in lower prices and good service."

Commenting on the Commenting on the ban by Central Elections Committee chairman Supreme Court Judge Elyakim Rubinstein of the broadcast of the press conference to announce the appointment, Kahlon said, "I am less interested in whether or not this is aired. I am concerned with what I do and not with what I say. I think that the response by Judge Rubinstein was a bit over the top."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 21, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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