Minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman commented this morning on the problem of the cost of housing at the convention of the Real Estate Appraisers Association in Israel in Eilat. "Real estate prices will rise by 11% in 2021," Liberman said.
"There are five elements that affect prices, on two of which we have no influence: the prime interest rate, and sea freight costs, which have risen by more than 700% and affect prices of sanitary ware" Liberman said. "There are three elements that we can affect: demand, supply, and planning, in these three elements we have broken records this year. The approval of the budget together with expedited work will lead to the gap between supply and demand being closed within three to four years."
Liberman also commented on food prices. "We can't reach a situation in which the price of milk in Israel is 88% higher than in the rest of the world," the finance minister said. "The retail chains have not done badly at all even during the coronavirus pandemic. I don't believe in price controls so much as in fair competition. By the end of the week we will formulate two major packages on the cost of living and the exporters."
On the appreciation of the shekel, Liberman said, "The appreciation is a result of exports causing a surplus of dollars, and so we must balance imports and exports. We have therefore adapted import standards to European standards. In any event, the exchange rate is the responsibility of the Governor of the Bank of Israel, and he is doing excellent work."
The finance minister also set goals for improving the standard of living in Israel. "Israel is seventeenth in the UN Human Development Index. Within four to five years, I want to reach the top ten, and it's no fairy tale. Why aren't we in the top ten today? Because in the haredi and Arab communities the rate of employment is very low. If we integrate these communities into employment, we will reach much higher places in the quality of life index, and so I'm working to incentivize people to work to obtain daycare subsidies."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 15, 2021.
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