In budget outline, questions linger on funding defense

September 28, 2014 15:21


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The Finance Ministry on Sunday unveiled details of the 2015 budget framework, but admitted it still did not have sources for increased defense spending.

An agreement inked between Prime Minsiter Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid just hours before the Rosh Hashana holiday on Wednesday included a NIS 6 billion increase to the 2015 defense budget, and a NIS 7 billion increase in spending from the current year's budget.

The 2015 addition--NIS 4.3b of which was set aside as a one-time expenditure, not to be automatically included in future budgets--was covered by an increase in the deficit, which is planned at 3.4% of GDP.

But when asked where the funds to cover the NIS 7b in 2014 would come from, budget director Amir Levy noted that cuts from other ministries, reduced interest spending and the use of reserve funds did not totally cover the costs. Finance Ministry officials will meet in November on the issue.

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