Olmert presents 2006 budget to Knesset

Promised to stay within the framework defined by Netanyahu, but will make some changes to alleviate poverty.

By YIGAL GRAYEFF
November 1, 2005 02:54
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert presented the 2006 budget to the Knesset on Monday, promising to keep within the framework set by predecessor Binyamin Netanyahu but saying he would make some changes in accordance with his intentions to alleviate poverty. Olmert committed to maintaining the budget deficit at 3% of gross domestic product - expected at around NIS 575b. in 2006 - and to not increase government spending in the years 2005-2010 by more than 1% in real terms. However, due to the disengagement program, the Treasury is allowing for a 0.4% rise in the deficit and another 1% increase in spending for 2005-2006. The budget initially was presented by Binyamin Netanyahu and was passed by the cabinet in August, just a few days after he resigned as finance minister. Olmert intends to make changes to give priority to fighting poverty, though he denied that any alterations would be based on "election economics." "We will create a program…to cut the gaps (in society), which have reached intolerable levels. There is no connection between this and the elections," he said. In early September, Olmert charged Treasury Director-General Yossi Bachar with creating a plan to combat poverty. As yet, the government has made no decisions on the changes it will make in the budget for this purpose but Bachar, who is working with representatives from other government ministries and the Bank of Israel, will present his proposals in the middle of November. Olmert indicated that one ministerial budget that would be difficult to cut substantially would be the defense budget, despite the success of the disengagement program and the withdrawal of troops from Gaza. "Considering the circumstances since disengagement, it's too early to suggest that there can be a major change in expenses. There is still terror coming from Gaza that needs to be dealt with by the security forces and this costs money." Nevertheless, the government is cutting defense spending in 2006 by 1.1% to NIS 46.1b., although it is raising civilian spending by 3.9% to NIS 47.9b. In total, the budget will rise by 1.1% from 2005 to a gross NIS 284.2b. The government expects income of NIS 198.7b., of which NIS 168b. will come from taxes and NIS 30.7b. from other sources.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
April 30, 2015
Teva doubles down on Mylan, despite rejection

By GLOBES, NIV ELIS