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Israelis protest Netanyahu's harsh austerity measures

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Israelis demonstrate against the cost of living in Tel Aviv.

Protests have erupted in Israel as Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet finalizes an annual budget that includes harsh austerity measures.

Crowds of people gathered in a protest outside the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Monday, where Netanyahu expressed hope that the disputed budget will be passed.

The budget is expected to raise taxes while slashing public spending, including social benefits.

Around 10,000 people also gathered in central Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against the austerity budget.

The protesters condemned plans to raise workers’ income tax by 1.5 percent while increasing corporate taxes by one percent.

Public outcry against Tel Aviv’s economic policies has been growing as reports surface about Netanyahu’s overspending on luxuries.

Earlier in the day, Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent $127,000 on a controversial sleeping cabin installed on a plane to carry the premier and his wife to London in April.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that the budget for Netanyahu and his wife’s clothing totals some NIS 50,000 a year (about $13,580). The Israeli prime minister and his family also have a limousine and a driver.

In 2011, record numbers of Israelis from all walks of life marched against the rising costs of living.

The protests peaked on September 3, when half a million people took to the streets.


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