MK Moshe Gafni 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu overcame one hurdle when the cabinet approved
the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Committee on Sunday, but passing many of
the committee’s proposals in the Knesset could be even more challenging,
coalition and opposition MKs said Monday.
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Each of the committee’s
recommendations will require approval by an individual vote in the cabinet and
the Knesset Finance Committee and three votes in the Knesset plenum. MKs
estimated that completing the legislation on all of the Trajtenberg
recommendations could take more than a year.
PM exhorts Trajtenberg c'tee report at cabinet meeting
Knesset Finance Committee
chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said he told Netanyahu that, had he
been a minister, he would have voted against the Trajtenberg recommendations on
“The members of my committee will take the report apart and
approve only what is good for the public,” Gafni said.
“What the finance
committee decides is right for the public will pass and what it doesn’t won’t,
no matter what the government decides.”
Shas MKs will cooperate with
Gafni and opposition MKs to block some of the key recommendations. A Shas
spokesman said his party’s MKs would vote in favor of clauses they support and
present alternative, more comprehensive bills on issues they oppose.
Meir Sheetrit (Kadima), who is a former finance minister, said the Trajtenberg
Committee did not do enough to solve the housing shortage or tax the
He said it was wrong to lower the gas tax instead of decreasing
the cost of public transportation, and that he opposed the recommendation that
would enable free education for children aged 3-4.
“The report is a
missed opportunity,” Sheetrit said.
“The report gives incentives to those
who don’t work. For instance, 52 percent of the children in the ages that would
be given free education are haredim [ultra- Orthodox] and Arabs, people who
don’t serve and don’t work. I say instead give tax breaks to working
Sheetrit predicted that Trajtenberg’s call for defense budget
cuts would not pass, especially if the vote on the cut came after a victory by
the Muslim Brotherhood in next month’s parliamentary election in
“If Egypt becomes an enemy, we will have to raise the defense
budget, not lower it,” he said.