Priming the (gas) pump

Gasoline Pump
Aren’t those Israeli finance ministry people clever? It was just the other day when Yuval Steinitz, Bibi Netanyahu’s Finance Minister, was expressing he regrets over the decision to charge VAT on fruits and vegetable sold in open air and similar markets. The uproar this decision created resulted in the government deciding to back off from their unpopular decision, as trying to collect these revenues might prove to be a bit dangerous, to say the least. Besides, the poor folk have been battered enough, especially pensioners and other weaker elements of our society.

But wait – there’s better ways to fleece the public, and bless our government to come up with just the perfect to get extra money from everybody, both rich and poor alike. And that better way it to hike up the taxes on gasoline, as this can be collected automatically at source and won’t affect many of the poor folk as long as they don’t have car.
Raising the price of fuel by 30 Agorot a liter, about 7.33 US cents, will not only raise a nice amount of needed revenues but not cause a revolution either. When pepole don’t have a choice, they pay what they have to since they don’t have much of a choice otherwise. The new levy will raise the price on 95 octane unleaded to NS 5.79 per liter at self-service stations.
The new gasoline tariff will go along with other austerity measures, including increasing VAT (on all other goods and services) to 16.5%, increasing contribution amounts required for National Insurance, municipal rates increases, and other means. Since most really poor folk don’t own a car, they won’t get stung with higher gas prices. Just the rest of us will. Most likely employees driving lease cars will have to pay a bit more for this privilege – too bad! Most likely a “beer and booze tax is also in the works too. That’s also something the public has no control over. It’s either that or take off child allowances even more. And that will make government coalition partners (like Shas) head for the hills.

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