Defense Minister Amir Peretz suggested Friday during a Labor ministers meeting in Tel Aviv to hike taxes for residents of the center and the south, or alternatively to impose a security loan on the public, in order to finance the war in Lebanon.
Labor ministers discussed the expected NIS 1.6 billion (USD 364 billion) cut to the state budget as well as the ceasefire document. Chairman
Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon said he opposed Peretz's suggestion to raise taxes. Simhon asserted, "Such a process depends on the public's point of view. Right now there is no atmosphere of victory or heightened mood, and the public won't pay." With that, Simhon said that in light of the expenses incurred by the war, a one-time cut must be made to the state budget to cover the costs.
"There was agreement that a cut of NIS 1.6 billion for security would be necessity," one of the ministers told Ynet after the meeting. "The army needs money right now, but programs need to be set up for the 'day after.' In any case, there was agreement among all of us that the education budget such suffer as little as possible."