JERUSALEM Israel's finance minister said on Tuesday he plans to abolish customs duties on a number of household items as part of a drive to reduce the cost of living for Israelis.
Moshe Kahlon said that starting in the coming weeks there would no longer be a customs or purchase tax imposed on imported cellular devices, footwear and baby clothes.
The plan will cost an estimated 800 million shekels ($218 million) a year. It will not increase the budget deficit and instead will be covered by higher than expected annual tax income, the ministry said.
The government has been under pressure to lower the price of essentials like childcare, consumer goods and housing since 2011 when hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest the high cost of living.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Susan Fenton)