“This protest is nothing like what we saw in 2011. It’s fiercer, more political. After two years of a change in perception, the public no longer falls for the bluff,” MK Stav Shaffir said today, after she joined protesters crying out against austerity measures which will take effect if Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s budget proposal gains the State’s approval.
Shaffir, one of the leaders of the 2011 protests, added “If Lapid continues to look for money in the emptying pockets of the middle and lower classes, he will see the public go out on the streets again, this time angrier, smarter and stronger. This public has power in the Knesset now.”
According to Shaffir, if Lapid’s budget is approved, a new wave of protests is expected. “The public recognizes the intolerable lack of responsibility reflected in this budget. A budget that persists with the same economic policy led by Benjamin Netanyahu – a policy that led to the deficit.
“Like Netanyahu, Lapid is afraid to hurt the small group of tycoons and is willing to give up on all of us for them. Our message is clear – go back on this budget. You can still fix this.”
MK Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) noted that “The protesters are right. There should have been changes in the budgetary pension and reforms in the ports, the Israel Electric Corporation and major unions. It is wrong that income tax was raised for everybody.
“There should have been bigger cuts in the top echelon and the lowest echelons should not have been harmed. Due to the large deficit created, it was obvious that cuts needed to be made.”
MKBoaz Toporovsky, with Finance Minister Lapid’s party Yesh Atid, insisted that the proposed budget will inflict “the burden on the rich and the large corporations as well,” and not only the middle and lower classes. He added that the financial plan is expected to “lower the cost of living in terms of housing, food and electrical appliances, among other things.”
Read more at Ynet News Israel.