ToI podcast

What Matters Now to Rachel Gur: Lowering the cost of living for the little guy

Deputy CEO of grassroots Lobby 99 drills down into how the war against Hamas influences prices and how the government is reconsidering its archaic ‘standards’

Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World.

This week, The Times of Israel deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with Rachel Gur, the deputy CEO of the grassroots Lobby 99.

Yesterday, as part of the “what is good for Europe is good for Israel” import reform, the Knesset ministerial committee for tackling the high cost of living unanimously approved that European standards will apply automatically on imported goods and will override the need for domestic regulatory standards approval.

This comes after a recent report that food and beverage prices in Israel are 52 percent higher than the average among developed countries, second only to South Korea, according to comparative consumer price data released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in June and reported by Channel 12.

Prices for bread and grains in Israel were found to be among the highest in OECD countries, at 49% above the average, with only Swiss prices coming in higher. Similarly, Israeli prices for dairy and eggs were the second most expensive among the 38 OECD countries, at 64% more expensive than the average, second to South Korea.

And while some of these costs are linked to the ongoing war against Hamas, most are not and are rather linked to a dearth of competition in Israel’s “free market” economy.

Currently serving as the deputy CEO of Lobby 99 — “the people’s lobby” — Gur moved to Israel from the United States at age 17 and served in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. After demobbing, she earned an LLB and BA in political science from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and an LLM in Legal Theory from New York University Law School. (She also married The Times of Israel’s senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur and they have four children.)

So this week, as there is some optimism that the cost of living just might be lowered for the little guy, we ask Rachel Gur, What Matters Now.

What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

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