Jan 13, 2010

Give it all away for free

Housing Minister Ariel Attias is in a fight with the Finance Ministry over money. Attias wants the Finance Ministry to release some of its surplus money to the Lands Registry.

Attias blames the FM for being greedy. Attias said, "The Lands registry has a budget surplus of 1.5 billion shekels. there is no problem of money, but the Finance Ministry sees the land as a source of income".

Without getting involved in who deserves that money (I have no idea and no opinion on the matter), I just want to comment that I think the Finance Ministry is correct in such an approach, if that is their approach. Why should they see the land as anything but a strategic asset or as a source of income? Why should the land be given away for free, just because Attias wants to help some people, when it can be sold and bring millions of shekels to the State?

Giving the land away to lower income families might be something they decide to do as a form of welfare and State assistance, but that does not mean it should not be looked at as a source of income. Without any other issues, such as helping the needy, the State should not look at the land as anything but a source of income (referring only to land intended for building)

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