Knesset approves budgetary expansion

Vote follows filibuster opposition speeches night.

knesset full 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
knesset full 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset voted Tuesday morning in favor of government legislation proposing an increase to the national budget framework from 1.7 percent to 2.6%, which will also increase Israel's deficit.
The decision was approved in the second and third reading with a majority of 51 to 31 parliamentary votes, after a 12-hour night of filibuster speeches by the opposition protesting the move.
The opposition, led by Kadima, made an unexpected announcement lateMonday night, cutting short its planned 45 hours of filibuster speechesand request a vote, resulting in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu andhis ministers receiving a 5 a.m. alert calling on them to vote early onTuesday morning. Procedures dictate that once the oppositionmakes such a move, the Knesset has to make a vote within two hours.
MKs expressed satisfaction over the parliamentary conductof the opposition in protesting the budgetary expansion, and the Kadimaspokesperson said that his party had chosen to make the early wake upcall for Netanyahu so as to, "Send a clear message, that every time hedares to grab public money for political bribes to his coalitionpartners - Kadima will make sure he doesn't get a good night's sleep."
Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit criticized the decision, saying that expanding the budget goes against the world trend of reducing national deficits, with only the rich benefiting from a debt expansion.
Coalition members, however, noted the futility of the oppositionefforts and emphasized that the filibuster night was waste of publicmoney.