Kahlon: Defense budget will soon face reform

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon

In a surprising turn during remarks on real estate, the finance minister fired a warning shot to the security establishment.

Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon said Monday he would advance long-delayed measures to reform the defense budget. The Kulanu chief also took credit for lowering housing costs in Afula and Kiryat Motzkin, as well as reducing the number of home acquisitions by investors.

"I am glad that for the second month investors left, abandoned, or were excluded from the market, to paraphrase the headlines of one newspaper," said Kahlon, when addressing figures released Sunday that showed few investors among the new home owners.

Speaking at a budget department event to commemorate employees killed in the Yom Kippur War, Kahlon said that the "Buyer's Price" tenders have led to a 35% drop in the price of homes sold using the method: "We took an unprecedented decision; we changed the tender system for the Israel Land Authority. Instead of an auction in which the highest bid wins the land, the contractor that offers the lowest price for each apartment receives the property. We stopped the profiteering. We set a uniform price. And we saw that profits were still great.

"We handled the development, the real estate contractors turned from property developers to construction contractors, and -- miraculously -- it's now 35% cheaper to buy an apartment.

"In Afula, apartments that were selling for NIS 980,000 are being given to us for NIS 640,000. In Motzkin, the price went from NIS 1.4 million to NIS 940,000 and no one was hurt. The most important thing is supply, supply, supply.

"I am proud that the budget promotes a social outlook and that we were able to lower taxes by NIS 6 million. I am glad that ministry of finance personnel adapted to task and to the new reality," said Kahlon.

The Kulanu chief then surprised the audience with an unusual remark. "The defense budget will also face reforms soon which have been delayed many years."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 2, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
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