by: Janet Aslin
Monday, 2 August 2021 | Early this morning Israel’s cabinet voted unanimously in favor of the 2021–2022 state budget, the first to advance thus far since 2018. The budget will now go to the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) Finance Committee, where it will be prepared for a vote by the entire 120-member body.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett described the proposed budget at the start of the 27-member cabinet on Sunday morning. “This is a budget that invests in the future, a budget of growth. We are investing in beneficial public transportation, in Internet infrastructure and technology, in quality education for our children, in our health system, and in our soldiers who will receive the best defense systems to deal with and defeat our enemies.”
Bennett concluded the portion of his opening remarks devoted to the budget by saying that “approving the budget will be a milestone for government stability and ministers’ ability to work in their ministries, to realize their plans and to work on behalf of the public.”
This is a budget that Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his staff have been hard at work on for weeks. Israel’s 36th government is made up of eight diverse parties, and with 61 members, has the slimmest of margins when matters go for a plenum vote.
The Bennett–Lapid government, which was formed on June 13, 2021, has until November 4, 2021, to get the budget passed into law or face automatic dissolution of the government. Lieberman has expressed confidence that the budget will pass before the deadline because he feels there is no desire among many in the opposition for a fifth round of elections.
However, the budget is likely to face some challenges in the weeks ahead. Unless votes can be drawn from opposition party members, passage will require all 61 government MKs (members of Knesset) to vote in its favor.
Posted on August 2, 2021
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 2, 2021)
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