Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (L) and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein .
(photo credit: KNESSET SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon were unable to come to an agreement as to how to shorten the Economic Arrangements Bill, discussed at a meeting in the Knesset Sunday.
Edelstein said his and Kahlon’s joint “goal is to bring the budget and the EAB [to a vote] on the planned days, without harming the Knesset’s ability to adhere to proper parliamentary procedure and while protecting the house’s dignity.”
The budget and EAB, which is passed in tandem with the budget each year and outlines the basic economic policies that are meant to accompany it, are expected to be submitted to the Knesset next Sunday and brought to a first vote the following Wednesday. The budget and EAB are scheduled to go to a final vote on November 20.
The EAB is usually very long, and often features articles that have little to do with the budget. As such, Edelstein expressed concern earlier this month that the Knesset’s committees will not have time to thoroughly review all of its contents. He called to cut down the bill and have some of its parts brought to panels other than the Knesset Finance Committee.
“I hope at the end of the day we will bring an end to the unhealthy situation in which our government is running without a budget,” Edelstein added.
Because the last government fell apart and the Knesset was dissolved in December 2014, before a 2015 budget could be passed, and Kahlon asked for an extension for his first budget, it will be a two-year budget for 2015-2016, which, in reality, will only apply for 13 months.
Kahlon said he sees the 2015-2016 budget as an opportunity to bring change to Israelis’ lives.
“The reforms we are presenting in the budget are focused on lowering the cost of living, increasing competition and dismantling monopolies and cartels,” he said. “The Israeli market is thirsting for reforms that will bring growth and prosperity.
“I believe that the MKs will help us make the change,” the Finance Minister added.
The two said the meeting took place in a pleasant atmosphere, but they did not discuss specific changes to be made in the budget and EAB. The Knesset speaker and finance minister instructed their staffs to go into the details of the bills.