Monday, June 29, 2009

Protest in the market

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Strange sights this morning in Machane Yehuda open-air market! A man was up on top of the awnings above the bustot, the stalls, putting up protest banners.
The signs say
"VAT on vegetables isn't right and isn't smart!"
"The poor are dying for fresh vegetables!"


In the current economic crunch, the government wants to reach deeper into our pockets, to help the State budget. For instance, by raising Value Added Tax "temporarily" to 16.5% and by imposing VAT on fruits and vegetables!
Very bad news for low-income folks, especially.
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Tomorrow the Knesset will vote on the hare-brained idea.
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Back home from my morning of food shopping at the lively shuk, I read that Shimon Darvish, chairman of the traders committee of Mahane Yehuda market, and his fellow stallholders would hold a demonstration this afternoon against imposing VAT. They were to be joined by representatives of markets in Ramla, Beersheva, Lod, Tel Aviv's Shuk Hacarmel and Shuk Hatikva, and Shuk Haifa.
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To quote the Globes article:
"Darvish says that the government's measure shows that it is cut off from the poorer sections of society. 'I call on the minister of finance and the prime minister to come along with me for a day and to look these people in the eye. They will see the pain and distress of whole families that live on bread, basic cheese, and fruit and vegetables. The markets are the country's biggest soup kitchen. But Steinitz and Bibi don't buy in the market.' . . . "

A Jerusalem Post article states
"Today, more than 60% of produce is sold in supermarkets, which would make VAT collection easier. But the problem of how to impose the tax on produce stands in open-air markets is expected to be a difficult one, as vendors do not have the time or facilities to record all transactions.
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Farmers are concerned that a VAT levy will make fruits and vegetables more expensive and reduce demand."
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Nu nu, that's my world here and now in Israel. For looks into other bloggers' places, visit That's My World Tuesday.

34 comments:

Carver said...

I love the shots of the open air markets. They kind of remind me of farmer's markets we have. That sounds like a hard issue in terms of the difficulties the new taxes will cause for those in the worse position to pay them.

jeannette stgermain said...

Just came back from vacation, so I'm catching up with the blogs I regularly read LOL
Hope they'll change their mind about the tax on fruit and veggies! Yes, I have heard from someone on one of my other blogs that there are many poor people living in Jerusalem.

Erin said...

wonderful captures of the market stalls. indeed a hare-brained concept. always something.
enjoyed reading about this and as always enjoy visiting your blog.
have a lovely tuesday.

Jedediah said...

That IS a remarkably stupid idea. I hope that the vote will be against it.

Robin said...

When I heard that the other day I was sure it was a joke. Unfreakingbelievable and utterly hairbrained is about the only non-censored comment I can make.

Aaaaahhhhh!!!

Babooshka said...

This does seem a little Monty Python. A tax on fruit and veg. Just shouldn't be. It is a tax on the poor who will just not buy. My soapbox again.


Amir is posting again as of today. Short and sweet but, most definitely free.

SandyCarlson said...

That's a tax you can live better without. The economy is taking its toll at every level.

Esther Garvi said...

Raising taxes on food (especially fresh produce) never seems like a good idea... Better raise taxes on luxury items.

Martha Z said...

A very regressive tax. Regressive taxes are popular here as well. The rich like to place a larger share of the burden on the poor.

mire said...

Beautiful Dina,
Great to see you in the midst of all that ripened fruit relishing the fruits of the earth.

Guy D said...

Great shots of the market, thanks for sharing.

Have a fantastic week
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Dina ... UK said...

Hi Dina,
I always feel guilty when scraping my plate from left overs.....
Sometimes I think this would feed undernurished people for a week.
ie; under developed countries.
A very sad state this world is in.....
Tax on food should never ever be allowed, in any country....

FA said...

A hare-brained idea, for sure. I hope this is repealed.

I love shopping at open-air markets. Yours looks great! I like the picture of you enjoying a carrot.

Wren said...

Short-sighted of them. In the US, we're now complaining that people don't eat enough fresh, healthy food - and a good part of the reason is the cost and the difficulty of getting fresh food in the city.

Don't follow our example - please!

Hazel said...

It sounds like one yahoo article I read earlier that explains "why the poor pay more." I heard Jerusalem is an expensive city.

Oh I love your captures. I'm a fruit and veggie eater; I enjoyed looking at your photos of them. I hope the VAT issue is sorted out.

Stanley said...

That is sad, tax on vegetable. They really shouldn't do that to everyday necessities.

Gaelyn said...

I sure hope the VAT doesn't pass. What are they thinking taxing the mainstay of people's diet. At least the with the open air markets it would be very difficult to enforce.

Paul Godin said...

It seems a common thing world wide. It baffles me that goverment is quick to jump to raising taxes but slow to cut out waste.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

VAT seems to be a pretty good idea until you start putting it on food, especially such a high tax. Keep us posted on how the discussion goes.

Pietro said...

Our Premier of 1992 needed much money (as usual!): with an istantaneous law he drew overnight from the current accounts a 6 x 1000 "tax". Very pleasant, isn't it?

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love the market pictures but don't love the new taxes.... All the posts for My World are so unusual and interesting all around the globe.

Louis la Vache said...

Good grief! A VAT on food? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........

We all know that once politicians impose a tax, it is very, very rare for it to be removed....

What a stupid idea! I hope the voters turn these dolts out of office for this!

Arija said...

It is bad enough with us here in Australia having to make 5 Tax statements a year because of our VAT, at present they say it is onlycharged on processed food, yet when we sell our cattle and sheep the levy applies on the transaction. It does make one wonder where the politicians keep their brains.
Some times one could tear ones hair out at the idiocy of the wealthy who are in charge!

Hilda said...

That's crazy!!! If I were there, I'd join in the protest! Life is hard enough for the poorest of our societies without imposing VAT on fruits and vegetables…

Kay said...

This was so much fun to see but what I loved best was seeing you! Please post more photos of you, too, Dina. :-)

I hope government will find something better to tax.

Michele said...

Oh dear, such sad sad news. I'm a vegetarian and my diet consists mainly of vegetables and fruits and fish. I am on such low income and I struggle from day to day so to hear of this, I could understand the turmoils... it would make me furious.

Why government does this makes absolutely no sense at all!!! Grrrrr....

Jack and Joann said...

Always love stopping by here for neat pics. On a serious note have you read what Richard Nixon and Billy Graham talked about in the White House concerning the Jews? It is on the recently released White House tapes? Shows a whole new side to Billy Graham I think.

Sailor Girl said...

Thank you, Dina, for your Friendship!!! (I like this word, Friendship, it has a SHIP in it!!!)

Have a nice Day!!!!

Dina said...

Shalom dear readers. Thanks for all your support and interesting reactions. Wow, I wish we had more voters like y'all here in Israel. :)

LUIS MIGUEL CORREIA said...

Hello Dina,

Thant you so much for your visit to my SHIPS & THE SEA.
About the VAT on the vegetables, here in Portugal we pay VAT 20%...
I love your country and enjoyed very much a visit several years ago.
Best wishes

LMC

maryt/theteach said...

That's an awfully high tax on fresh vegetables, Dina! But wonderful shots of the market and the sale items! :)

Sailor Girl said...

Reply to your comment: Yes, and guess what?? I was also aboard with Sailor Mum!!! LOLL!!!

Cloudia said...

Yes. The elites are punishing citizens everywhere for their own elite mistakes! And they demand high salaries - they are the best after all. Where's a modern prophet to speak out powerfully?
Very wrong, a SIN!!!!

Leora said...

Oh, that VAT tax is for real! It was discussed briefly on a Macrobiotic Yahoo Group that I read that is based in Jerusalem (they get together for potlucks - that part sounds fun).

Craziness! I believe economists call that a regressive tax. I'm glad to hear their crazy tax is difficult to impose.

Your photos are great. Is that you carrot chomping? Wonderful.