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Budget 2023: The cost of living has been met, but where are the coalition funds? - Walla! Of money


Tomorrow the budget will be placed on the Knesset table, in preparation for discussions and votes. What will not be in it? The commitments according to the coalition agreements and the import reform, an important tool for fighting the cost of living

The heads of the coalition at the meeting.

The funds intended to secure the coalition agreement will not be submitted tomorrow for consideration by the Knesset (photo: official website, no)

Two things will be omitted from the budget law that will be placed on the Knesset table: the law on importers and the final summaries of the coalition funds that the parties will receive.

The budget book will only include the budgets of the ministries that have been officially agreed upon and published, as will the Law of Arrangements.

The key detail that will be missing in the budget that will be submitted tomorrow for consideration by the Knesset, is the coalition funds that need to go through an approval procedure in the government, but a discussion on the issue did not take place.

To understand how strange this is, we should point out that it is, apparently, billions, which the document that will be placed on the Knesset table tomorrow completely ignores them.

What else will not be in the material that will be submitted for consideration by the members of the Knesset?

The importers law for example, which was supposed to be a tool to fight the cost of living, one of the government's big election promises.

The law was supposed to increase competition in the import of products into Israel and limit the power of the large importers in areas such as food and toiletries (so that they could not hold the franchise of several large manufacturers but only one large and small manufacturers), but the importers law was removed from the Arrangements Law under pressure from Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and despite The spirit of the Minister of Economy, Nir Barkat.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

A metaphorical hug for the deputy in charge of the settlements (photo: Niv Aharonson)

Where's the money?

The fact that the coalition funds did not enter the budget book, and were discussed only after the Passover break, is cause for concern.

When they come to discuss the budget, which has increased by NIS 32 billion, based on revenue and tax collection projections that did not take into account the possible effects of the legal reform and the coalition funds, the debates on it in the Knesset are, in effect, sterilized, because its framework is still unknown.

Officials at the Ministry of Finance bitterly say that the minister was preoccupied with more urgent matters than making ends meet with the heads of the coalition and submitting the budget in full.

According to those sources, the careless manner in which the current budget was handled, in which officials were forced to confront ministers because their appointed minister was not present at the government meetings that discuss critical sections included in it, continues even in the form in which it is presented to the Knesset.

The feeling is that they threw the budget book in the Knesset secretariat, casually.

And they conclude bitterly: "This is what happens when the finance minister is busy with so many matters, most of which have nothing to do with the ministry."

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Economy Minister Nir Barkat.

The law he fought for and which might have helped fight the cost of living, remains on the floor of the Ministry of Finance (photo: official website, Shaoli Landner)

The importers' reform, between accuracy and metaphor

Want to understand how the import reform was shelved?

In a meeting with journalists, Smotritz asked permission from

Kfir Bett, the deputy in charge of budgets

, to share with them a behind-the-scenes story, to explain why the importers were saved from the decree of fate, which was supposed to benefit the public:

"Do you allow me to share? Won't it embarrass you? This is something we worked on A lot, we worked it out together and put it on the table. We wanted to go for it with all our might. One day a kafir came up to my room, feeling uncomfortable, with shaky legs - I'm not that scary - and said to me, 'Listen, minister, we held a hearing, the importers showed us that it's not That's right. We want to do another test and make it more precise.'

If the Minister of Finance had insisted on the law, it is likely that a way would have been found to make it more precise and bring it to a vote tomorrow.

This is exactly what the Minister of the Economy, Nir Barkat, who fought until the last minute in the committee of ministers that discussed the budget, but to no avail, asked him.

Smotrich, who promised to fight the cost of living, removed from the budget the most significant reform for the citizen's pocket.

  • Of money

  • news


  • the state budget

  • Arrangements Law

  • coalition

  • Minister of Finance

  • Bezalel Smotrich

Source: walla

All business articles on 2023-03-22

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