Minister of Finance Yair Lapid has been attacking the senior officials who have criticized him. He wrote on his Facebook page that the aim of the proposal to exempt new homes from VAT for young couples buying their first apartment is designed to lower home prices and this cancels out the criticism from economists, officials and "parties at interest."
He wrote, "There was and remains one aim that is to lower the price of apartments. There are economists, politicians and parties at interest who oppose lowering VAT. That's fine because lowering VAT is not designed for economists, politicians and parties at interest but young middle class people that served in the army, worked hard, raised and loved their kids and find it difficult to make ends meet."
"This week for the first time they received a reason to believe that for the first time they will be able to allow themselves to buy an apartment. These young people now know that we meant every word and that in contrast to the past, the country is today ready to lose billions of shekels to lower home prices."
Lapid promised that there would be additional measures to lower home prices. "Taking off VAT is not our only step. It is only part of a detailed program that will soon be presented to the housing cabinet after we have worked on it for long months with dozens of professionals from the Ministry of Finance and the private sector. "The plan will raise apartment supply, ease matters for tenants, make it difficult for speculators and lower prices."
Lapid also related to criticism that his proposal is inequitable and discriminates against Arabs and ultra-orthodox Jews. "To young ultra-orthodox Jews reading this I want to say that despite all the slurs this plans absolutely includes you, and we will be very happy to grant you these significant benefits. All you need to do is join the army or national service.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 20, 2014
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