Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intimated Tuesday that the 2013 budget would not contain a large-scale tax hike, saying that what has worked until now would continue to work in the future.
Netanyahu spoke at a press conference at his Jerusalem office alongside Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and visiting Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary-General Angel Gurria.Media reports have suggested this week that next year’s budget will include large-scale spending cuts and increases to value added tax (16 percent up to 17%) and corporate tax. The Treasury released data Tuesday showing a NIS 18.4 billion budget deficit since the start of 2012. It blamed this mainly on a NIS 11.3 billion shortfall in tax revenues.
“There is no conflict between managing a free economy and social justice,” Netanyahu said, adding that Israel has produced strong growth and reduced poverty and unemployment in the face of global troubles due to the government’s policy of limiting expenditure and not raising taxes.