KNESSET SPEAKER Yuli Edelstein addresses the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
(photo credit: BOAZ ARAD)
The Knesset will have difficulty meeting its goal date for passing the 2017-2018 state budget, Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon warned in a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein Monday.
The expected schedule for the budget and Economic Arrangements Bill, which are passed at the same time, was for voting in a second and third (final) begin December 19 and end on December 22, taking into consideration the fact that Hanukka is the following week.
While the official deadline for the budget is on December 31, the Knesset finishes working at 4 p.m. on Hanukka, which is falls on the last week of December this year. The deadline can be postponed until the end of March, but if the budget is not passed by then, an election must be held.
Yinon said “clear instructions were given to committee chairpeople and their legal advisers about the relevant timeframes in order to meet this goal, emphasizing that they need to give the legal office a number of days to work after voting in the committees in order to edit and reword [items in the budget and EAB], in light of the length of the bill and its complexity.”
Most of the committees finished their work, but the Finance Committee, which has the primary responsibility for the budget, has not “and the end is not on the horizon, since the committee has not even started its discussions of the tax on [owning three or more homes] and taxation of kibbutzes,” the legal adviser lamented.
In addition, Yinon pointed out that the committee has not finished discussing other budgetary matters about which it has already held meetings.
Yinon said the MKs must consider either removing the proposals that were not yet discussed from the EAB and pass them as separate bills in order to allow the budget and EAB to be passed on time, or postpone passing the EAB to a later date.