Outgoing Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday protested what he considered far-reaching concessions by Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party in government negotiations with ultra-Orthodox factions, and warned that complying with their demands would lead to a "tax revolt."
"The minimum estimate of what was promised to them in the agreements is NIS 20 billion ($5.8 billion)," Liberman said. "Funding of institutions that do not teach core subjects would require an extra NIS 6 million in budgeting. These promises made to Haredi parties will lead to a tax revolt."
So far, Likud had struck up agreements with Otzma Yehudit, Noam, and the Religious Zionist Party. Talks with ultra-Orthodox parties United Torah Judaism and Shas are still ongoing.
Liberman argued that, despite the freshly-inked agreements, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is dividing civilians into two categories — those who get educated, serve in the military and pay taxes; and those who don't work and don't serve.
"As of today, there is a group in Israel of 175,000 yeshiva students aged 16 to 67, and 90% of them are do-nothings," said the Yisrael Beiteinu chief. "Billions of shekels are spent on liabilities to them that include allowances, food stamps, and additional issues."
Liberman added that "people are tired of being pushed around," and that while he does not support a tax revolt, he believes some kind of tex resistance is "simply an inevitability."
Coming off another irate screed against Netanyahu and Haredi factions, the treasurer also attacked soon-to-be former Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
"I also have plenty of criticism for Lapid and Gantz, trying to make nice with the Haredi parties," he stated. "The closer we get to Shas and United Torah Judaism — the farther we get from God … These are not negotiations, this is extortion."
Meanwhile, outgoing Justice Minister Gidon Sa'ar urged President Isaac Herzog to reject Netanyahu's request to extend his deadline to announce a new government.
"Netanyahu is trying to deal with personal issues and small-minded considerations about the incoming coalition. That's not what the extension is for," he said.