Shas’s Revenge Begins
Ofer Petersburg • Yedioth Ahronoth (p. 4)
Translation: Didi Remez • Coteret.com / Special to FailedMessiah.com
Last week after the conversion bill was approved in a preliminary vote, Shas vowed to embitter Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s life. Today that campaign of revenge is expected to begin. The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss this morning a bill to subsidize mortgages for young couples buying an apartment in the periphery.
The bill is being sponsored by Housing Minister Ariel Attias (Shas), and it asks for a subsidy of NIS 800 a month. “It is our duty to give incentives to young couples living in the periphery,” explains Attias. “We have been talking about this for a year, and it’s time to do something. The young couples mortgage their lives, and it is the state’s duty to help and to take part in helping them reach their dream of a roof over their heads.”
The Finance Ministry is opposed to the bill on the grounds that it is wasteful, and Netanyahu also doesn’t support it, but Shas is unperturbed and says that if the Ministerial Committee for Legislation rejects the bill, they will introduce it for a preliminary vote on Wednesday in the Knesset as a private member’s bill—and will vote in favor.
Attias’s bill has the support of MKs Miri Regev (Likud), who heads the housing lobby in the Knesset. Today Regev will introduce a bill of her own calling to cancel VAT on the first apartment bought by a young couple, and in the framework of their alliance, Attias has already promised her his support. The Finance Ministry, needles to say, is also opposed to Regev’s bill.
“It is unthinkable that the Finance Ministry should regularly give tax benefits to people with means, and hurt people without means,” says Regev. “The most recent benefits don’t help the people who want to buy their first apartment. It’s time that the Likud realized that not helping young couples won’t keep it in power.”
“We are against this, and we’ve made this clear to Attias,” said Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz yesterday. “The matter is under discussion and it’s pointless to discuss this in the media.”