Labor, Likud, Meretz decide to oppose '09 state budget

By SHELLY PAZ
November 4, 2008 23:30
1 minute read.

 
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Labor, Likud and Meretz agreed on Monday to vote against Kadima's 2009 draft state budget. The current Knesset is scheduled to end its fourth session next Monday, but apparently time has already run out for the bill. "Our position regarding the proposed budget is known. When the budget is eventually approved, it won't resemble the current bill," Labor chairman Ehud Barak said at the opening of Monday's Labor faction meeting. He was referring to the current draft's serious cutbacks to education, pensions and savings programs. "It's time to examine practical steps to protect citizens who have saved for many years in provident funds, kranot hishtalmut [advanced training funds] and pension funds. "It's also time to discuss the practical decisions that will help in dealing with the suffocation of credit the market is experiencing," Barak said. The Likud Knesset faction discussed Kadima's request that the bill be passed in its first reading - and amended and brought for second and third (final) readings after the elections - and concluded that it would vote against the measure if it was brought to a vote now. "This budget isn't good enough and isn't relevant due to the fact that it was prepared before the global economic crisis," the party's statement read. "Approving the budget in only a first reading when the Continuity Law, which demands all three readings be held at once and not cross from one Knesset to another, indicates that this is a PR prank and has no practical meaning." Meretz chairman MK Haim Oron said that his party had also decided to vote against the draft budget.

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