Ono Professor Acknowledges: “One has to ask – will the damage be permanent?”
Prof. Yaron Zelicha, who served as Accountant General in the Ministry of Finance and is currently the head of the accounting department at the Ono Academic College, addressed the economic damage caused by the COVID – 19 epidemic in a radio interview with premier journalists Ben Caspit and Aryeh Eldad on Israel’s 103 FM.
Prof. Zelicha noted that Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics found that national product fell by about 28 percent as a result of the virus. When asked if it was possible to reduce the damage, his answer was “Definitely!” Zelicha advised: “We must use all the tools of economic policy, and make sure that all the decision-makers are pro-growth.”
Discussing his time in government service, Zelicha added: “In my time as Accountant General, I was responsible for a variety of infrastructure projects in the country from desalination facilities, to Highway 431 and Section 18 of Highway 6. Let’s compare the planned budget during that period with the actual budget spent. You don’t have to bother because there was no shortfall. When you look at current infrastructure projects such as the train to Jerusalem, the light rail in Tel Aviv, and other projects, you will find that the government spends tens of billions of shekels on budget overruns. And where does the money come from to make up this shortfall? From taxes on small business. We are a country of managers. Just like you have managers in business you also have managers in states. When you have no management skills, and no horizon for growth or even any policy, the question is whether the next few years will also be lost for us.”
The full interview can be found at: https://103fm.maariv.co.il/programs/media.aspx?ZrqvnVq=IDHDIJ&c41t4nzVQ=EF