Last week, the Israeli public took to the streets over the price of cottage cheese. As a result, Globes ran an investigation regarding food prices in Israel versus in the US and Europe. The results were startling, especially when wages were taken into consideration.
According to the report, Israel pays less than the rest of the world for education, gasoline, water. Electricity prices in Israel are more reasonable than elsewhere on the planet. However, this comparison is in a vacuum and the entire picture changes “when one takes into account the income of the average Israeli compared to their counterparts overseas.“
“The average wage in the United States stands at around NIS 13,000 per month, and in the big cities at around NIS 17,000 per month (according to the federal government’s website); in Britain it stands at around NIS 15,000 per month, and in France at around NIS 16,000 per month. In Israel it is getting close to NIS 9,000 per month only.”
As a result, Globe’s investigation reveals that Israelis actually pay double for gasoline in comparison to those in those in the US and Canada. In those two countries, fuel costs are NIS 3.52 and NIS 4.17 per liter respectively. However, Israelis do manage to avoid the high prices of European countries such as Germany, Italy and the UK, where anywhere between NIS 7.50 and 8 per liter is normal.
Cellular phones in Israel are also more expensive, with Cellcom, Orange and Pelephone all charging per minute and monthly rates approximating NIS 175 per month. Orange, the most expensive provider, charges 170 NIS for 200 minutes. This is in comparison to the US, where packages that include everything cost as little as 154 NIS. The report did not state whether this is due to the non-competitive nature of the Israeli cellphone market.
Regarding higher education, Israelis pay more than all of Europe, paying 10,000 NIS per year in comparison to the free higher education in many countries. The most expensive European country, Spain, costs 16,740 NIS per year and the next highest, Germany, is 5,600 NIS per year. However, Israelis pay much less than Americans, who see bills in excess of NIS 51,000 per year.
One of the most notorious costs is that of new vehicles, which are more than double that of the United States.