Epstein to remain in ministry until budget passes

Deputy chairman of the Finance Ministry’s budget division will remain in his position until a new budget is passed.

February 3, 2013 21:28
1 minute read.
Isreli currency.

Money cash Shekels currency 521. (photo credit: Reuters)

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 Sunday.

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.

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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.

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