Israel Beiteinu to oppose budget cuts proposed by PM

February 20, 2011 11:56

Netanyahu's plan to reduce ministry budgets met with opposition; Finance Ministry in favor plan to reduce public transport fares.

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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Lieberman thoughtful 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Ministers from Israel Beiteinu announced Sunday that they would oppose a cut in ministries' budgets, according to the plan presented by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Culture minister and Likud MK Limor Livnat also announced that she intends to vote against the cuts.

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According to the plan, there will be a reduction of one percent in the purchasing and development budgets of government offices, except for the Ministries of Defense, Education and Welfare.

Prime Minister defended the plan in the Knesset meeting Sunday, saying: "We must uphold our priorities  and it finds expression in that we are not cutting these ministries.  I think that we are acting responsibly in the diplomatic, security and socio-economic spheres."

Netanyahu explained that the cuts were intended to provide a subsidy in order to lower public transportation costs by 10%. The prime minister described the populist intentions of the initiative, commenting that people utilizing public transportation are "Not the people in the top decile, but rather those people without means and those who want well as people who want to avoid traffic jams."

"We also want to maintain air quality and reduce pollution.  This will benefit both society and the environment, and is good for the State of Israel," Netanyahu added.

Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver opposed the initiative, saying that "Israel Beiteinu will vote against the cuts. Without money it will not be possible to adsorb Falasha Mura immigrants."

"This is a very socially aware ministry, and in the last two years there has been a trend of increased immigration and this makes these cuts unacceptable," she said.

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