(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Stipulating that he had neither the desire nor the intention to meddle in politics, President Reuven Rivlin said on Sunday night that he does not think that public needs or wants another election at this time. Rivlin warned that holding of elections so soon could undermine public confidence in the democratic system.
Rivlin was speaking at his official residence after receiving the proposed State Budget from Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Rivlin who had already been briefed on its contents commended Lapid and Treasury officials for having prepared it on time despite numerous pressures and obstacles along the way.
He welcomed the fact that the budget takes into account both security and societal needs, and noted that the government has the responsibility of forestalling a national strike. Preventive steps must be taken before the whole country goers on strike, he said.
He was particularly pleased to see that the budget did not overlook the needs of southern communities where he said long and massive rehabilitation is needed.
Lapid said that the budget had been planned in a manner which deals with crises and resources and the needs of the weaker sector of the population.
Amongst other benefits, the 2015 budget provides for better education for children, better health services for adults and children, the ability to age with dignity, and improved social services for soldiers and civilians
Some 200,000 children whose families live below the poverty line will receive hot meals daily at school he said.
In addition there will be no increase in taxes, because an increase would reduce buying power and would stunt economic growth.
In the final analysis he said, there will be a major change, but it will not occur overnight. It will gradually develop out of many small changes.
Lapid also lauded Rivlin for the emphasis he has placed on dialogue and understanding. “If we don’t win the fight for the character of Israel, we’ll lose the battle for its existence,” said Lapid.