Eyal Epstein, deputy chairman of the Finance Ministry’s budget division, who is
largely responsible for overseeing the budgetary process, will remain in his
position until a new budget is passed, the Finance Ministry announced
Finance Ministry budget director Gal Hershkowitz dismissed him in
late January, a shocking move given the tight deadline for budgetary
negotiations. The new coalition will have only 45 days to piece together a
budget once the government is seated, so many of the principles will have to be
worked out during coalition negotiations.
Meir Bing, who currently serves
as deputy budget director for security affairs, will work with Epstein during
the process, which will serve as a transition period, and replace him once the
new budget is complete, the Finance Ministry said. Hershkowitz and Epstein
agreed to work together until then, it said.
Hershkowitz allegedly ousted
Epstein over the overblown 2012 budget deficit, which at NIS 39 billion came in
at over double the original projections.
According to Globes, Epstein had
warned the previous budget director, Udi Nissan, about the forecasts and
attempted to revise them. He was even accused of leaking accurate, but
embarrassing, reports of Israel’s fiscal health to the media.