Finance Minister Yair Lapid defended his economic plan on Tuesday, saying he was waging the war of the working person.
“We are going to war. It’s time to wage this war. It’s time to go in a different direction,” Lapid told the INSS national security conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.
The finance minister outlined his economic vision, saying that the road ahead would not be easy, referring to his plan to rein in Israel’s massive NIS 39 billion deficit, but insisting that Israelis would weather the storm.
Lapid said the issues at the top of his agenda were the housing crisis, instating a truly universal military draft, and bringing down the cost of living.
“My plan will fundamentally change the situation of the working person within three years,” promised Lapid.
“What you see are not just [budget] cuts, not just slashes, and [an increase in] taxes and transfers of funds from one ministry to the next. What you are seeing — and this will become clearer over time — is a path, a clear, decisive path, with one goal: to put the working person at the center of the Israeli economy.”
Lapid stressed that working Israelis are the ones who sustain this country and that, without them, Israel has no economy and no society. The finance minister said the massive deficit Israel has incurred has forced it to redefine its priorities. He promised that the ways things are done is going to change, adding that he was not going to slam his predecessors. “I don’t care who’s at fault; I care about what we’re going to do.
“We just need to fix this glitch, so the overdraft doesn’t bury us. It won’t take long. We will be able to give people back what they deserve,” he declared.