Groceries in Israel cost 25 percent more than the European average, according to a recent Knesset Research and Information Center report.
Israelis also pay 40 percent more for dairy products and for non-alcoholic drinks than the average country in the 34-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. (Haaretz)
“The ministries of Finance, Industry, Agriculture and the entire government must rectify the wrongs and maintain real control on the prices of essential foodstuffs by defining the basic food package and closely monitoring its costs,” said State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, in a critique of free-reining food prices between 2005 and 2011. (Times of Israel)
Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir signed an order the end of December to place price controls on several dairy products, including milk—dropping the price by 20 cents a liter. (Jerusalem Post)
“The move is added to the series of steps taken by the Ministry of Agriculture to reduce the cost of living in Israel,” Shamir said.
“Price control is no solution for market failure in the long run … but we will not hesitate to use it whenever a company will use uncompetitive market to make profit at the expense of consumers,” Lapid said.
Meanwhile, various import duties on produce have been lifted, as well, due to the snow storms that destroyed much of the nation’s produce this December. (FreshFruitPortal)
According to a recent report released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, it isn’t only the cost of food that is soaring in Israel.
In the past year, housing prices rose by 9.4%, with a cumulative jump of 77.4% since 2008. As well, rent prices climbed an average of 17% since January 2011.
On January 1, the cost of public transportation increased 4.7%.
For those in Israel dreaming of beating the high cost of living by winning the lottery, the lottery tax also jumped to 30% of winnings over 50,000 shekels ($14,400).