Lapid: Israel has a monstrous overdraft

New Finance Minister Yair Lapid prepares the ground for budget cuts and tax hikes in his Passover message.

March 27, 2013 20:21
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid makes first speech before Knesset, Feb 11

Yair Lapid 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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

"Like Moshe, I will do the right thing. That's what Yesh Atid is doing. We are doing the right thing, what really has to happen here so that an entire generation will be in the right places," said Yesh Atid chairman Minister of Finance Yair Lapid in a video clip posted on his Facebook page during Passover.

This is not the first time that Lapid has mentioned "tough decisions" that he will have to make at the Ministry of Finance, implying that budget cuts are necessary to reign in the government deficit. In a newsletter to Yesh Atid supporters, he said, "The picture that is slowly emerging before me is far worse than I imagined. Forget words like "deficit" and "fiscal crisis", I will put it much more simply: I came to renovate the house, but I discovered that we have an overdraft. What kind of overdraft? Monstrous, ominous and growing."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Later today, Lapid will renew financial discussions with top Ministry of Finance officials. In talks with top ministry officials on Sunday, Lapid expressed concern over the huge deficit, and by the low participation in the labor force of haredim (ultra-orthodox) and Arabs. He has also held a working meeting with Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer last week, and speaking by phone with US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew.

"It will be a hard and unpopular road, and I will take tough decisions because of what you have sent me here to do, and I need you," continued Lapid in his Facebook address. "I need you today no less than I needed you during the election campaign, I you to go out and say, 'Look, we're doing what is right. We're not playing games, we're doing what is necessary because that what Yesh Atid is for'."

Lapid concluded, "I see this as liberty. There is liberty in doing the right things. And that's what we're going to do. I am prouder of you than ever, now is the time to protect the positions that aren’t always easy to pass. That is our power; we know to do these things together. The road from slavery to freedom is to monitor your internal truth."

Minister of Social Affairs Meir Cohen, also of Yesh Atid, promises to fight any reductions in welfare, even at the cost of internal conflict in the party. "I will fight for the budget even at the cost of war between brothers of a war between friends. There are many other places with fat, but not in welfare, and I will fight uncompromisingly," he said.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night