Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intimated Tuesday that the 2013 budget would
not contain a large-scale tax hike, saying that what has worked until now would
continue to work in the future.
Netanyahu spoke at a press conference at
his Jerusalem office alongside Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and visiting
Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary-General Angel
Media reports have suggested this week that next year’s budget
will include large-scale spending cuts and increases to value added tax (16
percent up to 17%) and corporate tax. The Treasury released data Tuesday showing
a NIS 18.4 billion budget deficit since the start of 2012. It blamed this mainly
on a NIS 11.3 billion shortfall in tax revenues.
“There is no conflict
between managing a free economy and social justice,” Netanyahu said, adding that
Israel has produced strong growth and reduced poverty and unemployment in the
face of global troubles due to the government’s policy of limiting expenditure
and not raising taxes.