“In the last decade, the Israeli economy was faced with two crises: a local one and an international one.”
“We came out of both because we had an economic policy with vision. The budget we compiled today is a responsible and balanced budget that grants stability to the Israeli economy for the next two years.”
This is how the Prime Minister opened the cabinet meeting:
“The public in every country pays for going over the budget and unchecked spendingâ€¦It may not be clear when a government goes over the budget, but we see what happened in some European countries. We can’t let such irresponsibility happen in Israel.”
“Naturally, we can’t meet every need, even though many are legitimate and important, but a leader’s job is to weigh priorities and make decisions.”
And with that the cabinet unanimously approved the new budget. The result of which is a decrease of NIS 2.7 billion â€“ that’s 700 million US dollars, from the Defense Ministry’s budget over the two coming years.
In 2011-12 the systematic refill will happen in increments of 2.7% per year, standing the budget at NIS 271 billion, come the second year.
Well, Ehud Barak said the decision to cut his office’s budget was indeed necessary “given the economic and social reality.”
Though, a Kadima representative said that the new budget is:
“A complete public deceit. The most overblown and wasteful government in the history of the State has produced a budget that lacks policy and vision.”
According to Ehud Olmert’s party, the Labor ministers, “have no shame, and securing their seats is more important to them than the promises they made to their voters.”
Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu is not happy with the Prime Minister’s decision, per usual. Public Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said after the cabinet meeting:
â€œIsrael Beiteinu is the senior partner [in the coalition]â€¦but weâ€™re treated otherwise. I say to the government and to the prime minister: Weâ€™ll meet in the Knesset…Weâ€™re voting against the budget â€“ it will not pass!â€
Aharonovitch says that the budget will skim from the Public Security Ministry NIS 700 million!
Also of Israel Beiteinu, Sofa Landver, Immigrant Absorption Minister railed on the cuts to her ministry:
â€œThis is the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel that aliya is not on the governmentâ€™s agenda,â€ she said. â€œThe proposed budget is directly harming the absorption and encouragement of aliya. I call upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to get involved, because he said that the absorption of olim is a priority for our government.â€
She refers to a diaspora, arguably feeling further isolated from the Jewish Country due to a new orthodox conversion law (currently opposed by the Prime Minister, currently…temporarily?).
Stay tuned to see what happens next!