Sources in Yisrael Beyteinu said Friday that party chairman Avigdor Liberman's agreement to support the tax raises and budget cuts planned for Monday's cabinet meeting are not an indicator that the party will back the 2013 state budget when it comes to a vote later this year.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's associates have hinted in closed conversation that Netanyahu sees Monday's vote as a bellwether for how hard it will be for him to pass the budget. The vote on the budget is seen as the indicator of whether Netanyahu will need to initiate early elections. If he sees that he cannot obtain enough support to pass the budget he is expected to initiate early elections in October that will be held at the beginning of 2013.
But if he can get Yisrael Beyteinu, Habayit Hayehudi and the Independence party to support the budget and a few opposition MKs to abstain, in order to pass it, Netanyahu may be able to complete his term which is set to end officially on October 22, 2013. The only ministers who have said they will vote against Finance Minster Yuval Steinitz's plan on Monday are the four ministers from Shas. Shas traditionally votes against the budget in the cabinet whether or not they are in the coalition.