The 2013 budget will include tax hikes, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz declared Wednesday, just one day after agreeing to double next year’s budget deficit ceiling to three percent of gross domestic product.

Responding to media reports that the increased deficit target precludes the need to raise taxes, Steinitz said: “I want to set the record straight: taxes will be imposed…I must say this, because our credibility is important to us, and [taxation] is a central tool of this government’s  policy, particularly in hours of crisis.”

Steinitz made the comments while addressing the Israel Democracy Institute’s 20th annual Caesarea Forum at the Dead Sea. The conference was renamed this year to the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society, in memory of the former Teva Pharmaceuticals chairman and CEO who passed away last year.

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