Wide view of the Knesset.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Knesset probably will not vote on the budget by the end of 2014, Knesset Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky said Tuesday.
“I was surprised that the government authorized the budget and Economic Arrangements Bill for 2015 within just a few hours,” Slomiansky said. “Any sensible person knows that such a serious discussion cannot be held in such a short time, especially when the market is slowing down.”
As such, Slomiansky said he feels it is his responsibly as Finance Committee chairman to make sure there is an in-depth discussion and debate of the budget and the Economic Arrangements Bill before they reach a final vote in the Knesset.
The Economic Arrangements Bill is legislation passed alongside the state budget meant to lay out the government’s economic policy in greater detail. The bill tends to be lengthy and often includes articles that are not related to the budget.
The law states that the government must present the budget to the Knesset 60 days before the end of the year, but Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein gave the government permission to do so 15 days later, in the middle of November.
“The Finance Committee won’t be an automatic rubber stamp. We will have an in-depth discussion, even if it means that we will not finish by the end of December 2014 and have to continue in January 2015,” Slomiansky said.
The Knesset is supposed to approve the budget by the end of December, but the government can ask for a three-month extension. If the budget is not authorized by March 31, the Knesset will be dissolved and an election will be called.