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Israeli Politics

OECD Marks Israel Most Expensive Country to Live In

Israel has the highest comparative cost of living among the world’s developed countries. This is according to a study released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The figures in the report are from data compiled from 2022.

Compared to the average prices for numerous basic products in OECD member countries, prices in Israel were found to be 38% higher. It is 13% more expensive to live in Israel than in the US and 21% more expensive than the cost of living in Canada. And even in Great Britain the prices are as much as 33% less than they are in Israel.

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Compared to some countries like Turkey and Portugal, the gap is as much as 60%. So, it is no wonder that Israelis always brag about how they bought new clothes and any number of products abroad for so much less than they cost in Israel. Some even go so far to say that their shopping saving paid for the trip.

Head of the Israel Association of Manufacturers Ron Tomer said “the report shows that the State of Israel has a number of structural problems which lead to the fact that the level of prices in Israel is apparently high compared to the rest of the world.”

The president of Israel’s Association of Chambers of Commerce, Uriel Lin used the news as the basis for a sharp criticism of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We should deeply regret Israel’s dubious achievement in its misguided approach to lowering the cost of living,” he said. “There is no dealing with the port costs imposed on imports whose scope is approaching 400 billion shekels a year, there is no real reduction of the burden of regulation and there is no dealing with the taxation system that imposes an unrelenting tax on the rising component.”

However, the fact is that the Netanyahu government has been taking steps to reduce high prices in the country. For example, Israel has traditionally had higher standards when it comes to regulating electronic appliances. This meant only more expensive appliances could be imported. But now the government has adopted the less restrictive European standards which it says will bring prices down.

The government has also been working to put an end to certain monopolies held by importers and allow for more competition in local markets.

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