Steinitz defends Lapid's budget cuts

Ex-finance minister and current Strategic Affairs Minister Steinitz calls budget proposal "logical," adding that education is not cheap.

May 12, 2013 19:45
1 minute read.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz at the Jerusalem Post Conference, April 28, 2013.

Yuval Steinitz at JPost conference. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Former finance minister and current Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz spoke out in defense of current Finance Minister Yair Lapid, whose budget proposal came under fire last week, in an interview with Army Radio on Sunday.

"Every budget cut hurts, but the state has to choose its priorities, and providing free education from the age of three isn't cheap," Steinitz said.

Steinitz also defended Lapid's intentions to cut into the security budget saying, "not only is there room to make cuts from the security budget, but in fact there's no choice."

"Syria, Israel's strongest traditional military rival in the Middle East, is going through a very difficult time, and is less of a threat than in the past," Steinitz said. "I have great respect for the IDF, but there is still room to make cuts."

In response to Lapid's assertions that the current budget cuts are a result of the difficult situation he was handed by the previous government, Steinitz refused to be goaded into an attack on his successor, preferring to defend his own time in the Finance Ministry.

"Compared to the rest of the world, Israel is in a good, stable place financially, an opinion that has been confirmed by [Bank of Israel Governor] Stanley Fischer," Steinitz said.

He added that, "even before the elections I began to push for raising taxes so as not to leave it all for the incoming finance minister, but rather get the process started myself."

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