Kadima leader Tzipi Livni called a press conference for Wednesday to respond to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's handling of the 2009 state budget and will convene the Kadima faction to plan efforts to sideline the budget in the Knesset. Livni will aim to neutralize criticism from Kadima MKs, who have accused her in recent days of "disappearing" from the Knesset and not leading the anti-budget fight as opposition leader. They have also said she made a mistake by letting a Likud MK chair the Knesset Economics Committee, which is normally led by an MK from the largest opposition faction and can be used to derail the budget. "Netanyahu is proving time and time again that all he cares about is avoiding a political crisis and not solving the economic crisis," a source close to Livni said Tuesday. "In his obsessive effort to survive politically, he is willing to sacrifice the future well-being of the nation. There has never been a government so disconnected from the needs of the public." Former finance minister Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima) went further, accusing Netanyahu's government of "sweating in panic and hysteria and behaving totally irresponsibly." "Netanyahu has given in to the scare tactics of Labor's Ehud Barak and [Histadrut chairman] Ofer Eini," Bar-On said. "The prime minister should have stood up for what the professionals in the Finance Ministry called for and threatened to quit otherwise." Kadima MK Yoel Hasson added that "after he hurt the weakest sectors of the population, Netanyahu is now is hurting the middle class by raising taxes. Bibi is breaking a promise he made to his voters and once again proving that he cannot be trusted." The Likud responded that "the previous Kadima government left a damaged legacy on all issues, especially socioeconomic issues, and they should be embarrassed about the inheritance they left to the new government." The five Labor MKs who opposed the party joining the coalition will meet in the coming days to decide how to react to the passage of the budget, depending on how Labor ministers voted in the cabinet. They said they would reevaluate the impact of the budget vote on whether there would be a split in Labor.