Lapid's budget
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Sa'ar: 'Cuts could be deadly'
Photo: Gil Yochanan

Cabinet ready to do battle over budget cuts

Finance Minister Lapid facing cabinet ire over plans to implement significant cuts in various ministry budgets

The cabinet is getting ready to do battle over the planned budget cuts, with Finance Minister Yair Lapid marked as the number one target of the ministers' ire.


On Wednesday the interior and defense ministers joined the attack expressing their objection to any cuts in their ministries. "Budget cuts could be deadly," said Gideon Sa'ar while Yitzhak Aharonovitch made it clear that he intends to do "whatever possible" to prevent his office from being hit by the planned cuts.


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Speaking at a local authority conference Saar added "the local authorities (just) got out of a major crisis. The status in many local authorities is different but still fragile. The danger is in hurting the health plan budget. I intend to fight this, that's my goal ahead of the budget deliberations."


Meanwhile Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch made it clear that he would object to any budget cuts in his office.


"As a State we are standing before a difficult period, a period of retrenchment and significant cuts. In the four years of my time in office I insisted that we not be included in the cuts, and that's what happened. It is my intention to continue and do as much as possible so that the ministry's budget and the police budget not be harmed, it’s a national interest."


Earlier Wednesday, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz expressed his objections to the proposed budget cuts and said: "Accepting the Finance Ministry's suggestion to cut back on transportation projects is one of the biggest public scandals in the history of the State."


Katz has is also threatening to approach the State Comptroller over the planned cuts as he believes that aborting the projects would cause so much damage to the State that it would necessitate an inquiry in the future.


Katz blamed Finance Minister Yair Lapid and his office for taking advantage of the financial situation in order to cancel projects they were opposed to from the start.


The finance Ministry stated in response that the suggested cuts do not cancel transportation projects rather they postpone them for a limited time.


In addition to the cabinet, some 21 local authorities from the Negev and Galilee also expressed their objection to the proposed cuts in a letter to Lapid. In the letter they called Lapid to accelerate transportation development in the periphery and remove plans for cuts to periphery tax benefits from the agenda.



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פרסום ראשון: 04.10.13, 17:05
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