Housing Minister Uri Ariel announced he supports Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s new plan to facilitate young couples that are first-time apartment buyers. The plan eliminates the 18% value added tax on the purchase price, a considerable discount.
Ariel is critical of the conditions included in the plan by Lapid, which demands that at least one member of the couple is working and one member served in the IDF or an approved national service. Chareidi lawmakers feel the Lapid version of the bill smells of being anti-chareidism.
In addition, Ariel wants the bill to reflect the original plan, including qualified couples purchasing a refurbished apartment and not just a new apartment from the contractor. He points out the latter represents only 8% of the annual purchases so while beneficial; it will not impact the market in a big way. The refurbishing Ariel explains represent the majority of purchases and he fears the Lapid plan will not significantly help too many young couples while resulting in a loss to the national budget.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)