Lieberman ministry projected budget fails approval

The Finance Committee of the Knesset voted on Wednesday against the budget projected for financing the ministry of strategic affairs. The committee voted against a request by the finance ministry to allot NIS 26.7 million from budget reserves towards setting up the ministry of strategic affairs in the prime minister's office, for recently appointed Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Even Lieberman's budget for personal security was approved by a narrow margin: Three members voted for, two against and one abstained. Lieberman's security budget comes up to NIS 3.3 million per year. The finance ministry representative explained that the new ministry was not taken into account when the budget for 2007 was planned. Adding Lieberman's security costs would raise the total budget allotted to personal security of ministers to NIS 79.9 million.