ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Kahlon says Israel to cut ‘billions of shekels’ in taxes

With focus on market growth, finance minister vows to ‘continue efforts to make citizens’s lives easier’

Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon speaks during a party faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 23, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon speaks during a party faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 23, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Israeli government will cut billions of shekels worth of taxes in the coming national budget, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Monday.

“We have promised to continue efforts to make citizens’s lives easier, and we are looking into several actions to alleviate the tax burden they bear,” he told a faction meeting of his Kulanu party.

Kahlon said the state would focus on steps to encourage market growth, and expressed his belief that the two main instruments for this were “investments and tax cuts.”

The finance minister said that in the next budget the government would “invest in investments and cut taxes in billions of shekels.”

Israel’s monthly minimum wage rose to NIS 4,825 ($1,253) on July 1, as part of a gradual increase plan that will see the minimum wage rise to NIS 5,300 (about $1,375) by December 2017.

In September 2015, Kahlon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a reduction in the sales and corporate taxes, a move criticized at the time by Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug.

Kahlon on Monday claimed he had been vindicated on the matter.

“Last year when we announced reduced VAT and corporate taxes there were criticisms and attacks on the move. Today the action has been shown to have been correct and those who attacked [it] have admitted to being wrong.”

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