Government approves Finance Ministry's budget proposal

The government on Sunday afternoon approved the Finance Ministry's bi-annual budget proposal, according to which the budget will be increased by 1.7 percent only over the next two years. Twenty ministers voted in favor of the proposal, while 10 ministers, including Shas and Labor MKs and Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud), opposed the budget. The proposal puts the 2009 state budget at 243 billion shekels and the deficit at 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP).