Smotrich: ‘Better alternatives’ to Netanyahu’s proposed price freezes on utility bills

Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich shake hands after signing a coalition deal in Jerusalem on December 1, 2022. (Likud)
Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich shake hands after signing a coalition deal in Jerusalem on December 1, 2022. (Likud)

Fresh off inking a coalition deal with presumptive incoming premier Benjamin Netanyahu, far-right Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich pledges not to raise taxes in his role as finance minister in the next government.

In an interview with Channel 12 news, Smotrich indicates he’s not a fan of Netanyahu’s campaign pledges to freeze prices for electricity, water and property tax bills, saying “there are better alternatives.”

“My economic views are known. I’m a free market guy and believe that if the government doesn’t interfere, there will be growth there. If Netanyahu insists [on the price freezes], we’ll examine how it’s possible to do this,” he says.

He also appeals to Israelis working in high-tech and other well-paying fields not to leave the country amid concerns over the likely new coalition to be formed by Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc, asserting a “tsunami of investment” will wash up on the Jewish state’s shores.

“The State of Israel is now going to be a tremendous international investment center, because of the global [economic] crisis,” Smotrich says. “I will smash the bureaucracy. This is the best opportunity you’ll have.”

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