Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon drew his first line in the sand Monday in the 2017-2018 budget battle, promising to increase spending on infrastructure, health and education.
Speaking at the Netanya Real Estate Forum, Kahlon said the new budget would allocate an additional NIS 2.5 billion for health, NIS 2.5b. more for Transport, and NIS 1.5b. to education.
“These numbers are the minimum, not the maximum. We will put together a serious package for growth and export support, and we are not afraid to think about lowering taxes to encourage growth,” Kahlon said.
Relative to other OECD countries, Israel spends less on its “social” sectors, and moves toward more investment in fields such as education and transport infrastructure are broadly considered constructive.
Kahlon did not specify whether the figures he gave were in relation to the 2016 budget or the “automatic pilot” path of the 2017- 2018 budget, nor did he say whether these goals were for the first or second year of the spending plan. A Kahlon spokesman did not return requests for clarification.