Supreme Court questions biennial budget

Attorneys Eyal Rozovsky and Eli Borschtein argue biennial budget law is non-constitutional as it seeks to amend a Basic Law through a temporary law.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
October 5, 2010 03:41
2 minute read.
High Court of Justice [file]

high court panel citizenship law 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Only one week before the government intended to file the biennial budget before the Knesset to begin the alwayscontentious approval process, a High Court of Justice decision Monday placed the budget’s future under a cloud of uncertainty. Responding to a petition filed by former finance minister MK Roni Bar- On (Kadima) on behalf of his party, the High Court determined that there was sufficient legal uncertainty to ask that the government and the Knesset explain the basis for the biennial budget.

Attorneys Eyal Rozovsky and Eli Borschtein argued that the biennial budget law is non-constitutional as it seeks to amend a Basic Law through a temporary law rather than through an amendment and as such will only be valid for the period in which the current government holds office.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The petition also argued that the concept seriously harms the nature of relations between the government and the Knesset, and restricts the Knesset’s power and ability to provide oversight of the government through the budget.

While the government prepares the budget, it is the Knesset that must ratify it through three readings, just like any other bill. Should the budget lose during one of those votes, such a vote automatically constitutes a no-confidence vote in the government.

Coalition partners, well aware of the ruling party’s interest in passing the budget, often use the threat of opposing the budget to gain policy or budgetary leverage.

During Monday’s hearing, the High Court acknowledged that the appeal raised serious questions that justified a further hearing on the subject.

That hearing will only be held in another three months’ time, meaning that the government will necessarily have to begin the legislative process for the budget before it is certain that the court will even uphold it as legal.




While Kadima trumpeted the High Court decision, the Finance Ministry downplayed it, emphasizing that the court did not issue an order preventing the budget from being filed next week. Similarly, Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said that the decision to adopt a biennial budget was not a behind-the-back move, but rather was carried out with “penetrating public debate” and after the various opinions had been heard.

Supporters of the initiative, led by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), emphasize that the biennial budget will increase governmental stability, maintain critical government- sponsored programs and most importantly, has the support of the OECD, which recently accepted Israel into its prestigious ranks.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN